It would cost much less for Calgary to buy the Flames, than to build the Flames’ proposed NHL hockey rink.
The authoritative Forbes business magazine values the Flames at about $300 million USD (excluding the Saddledome, which the City owns). The City estimates the Flames proposal around $1.8 billion Cdn. Do the math:
$600 per taxpayer versus $3,600 per taxpayer.
With community ownership of the Flames, the City could design a facility for the Stampede, Flames, and concerts ― not just a facility designed for hockey and concerts and the Stampede.
Then the City could charge the Flames rent, just as it does for amateur hockey teams.
The Flames contributed nothing to the building of the Saddledome, which Olympic advocated as an indispensable component of the 1988 Olympic bid, just as a new hockey arena is now being pitched as an indispensable component of a 2026 Olympic bid.
The Flames proposal was only partially prepared and amateurishly presented―clever but misleading.
Better that a hockey team focus on winning hockey games ― leave urban planning to the experts.