‘Fresh start’: Formal arena talks are back on between city, Flames corporation

via Calgary Herald by Brodie Thomas

This city is doing things differently this time by hiring consulting firm CAA ICON to represent Calgary at the negotiating table

The City of Calgary and Calgary Flames ownership are going back to the table in hopes of crafting a new arena deal, but this time the city has drafted some help for the negotiations.

The two parties have agreed to restart formal discussions on a new arena, officials announced at a meeting of city council’s event centre committee on Wednesday.

The previous deal between the city and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. fell apart late last year over cost overages, just weeks before construction was set to begin on the $650-million project.

This city is doing things differently this time by hiring consulting firm CAA ICON to represent Calgary at the negotiating table.

The American-based firm has more than 20 years of experience in “planning, activating, designing, constructing and commissioning projects” for sports teams and cities around the world, according to the firm’s website.

Michael Thompson, general manager of infrastructure services for the city, said CAA ICON was retained as a “deal structure adviser” on the advice of third-party mediators who were brought on in May to help restart the talks.

Those third-party mediators are now stepping away, although the city may continue to call on them for expertise as the talks progress, according to event centre committee chair Coun. Sonya Sharp.

She c