Gary Bettman visits Saddledome after suggesting 'Calgary obviously needs a new arena'

Gary Bettman visits Saddledome after suggesting 'Calgary obviously needs a new arena'

The Flames say Calgary is in need of a new arena and while Bettman wouldn't speak in detail about it Tuesday, he said he might have meetings with city officials during his trip.

Instead they've been promoting a "Plan B" which would involve an area near the current Saddledome in Victoria Park. "We will have an open and honest discussion about what might be possible, where there might be a win-win", he said. "That shouldn't be too inflammatory, I hope".

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman met with Mayor Naheed Nenshi earlier this week, and the two had a "cordial and candid discussion of different views".

"The Flames will have the dubious distinction, with the oldest arena in the NHL", Bettman said in January 2016, adding "there is only [one] box left to check off on my arena checklist". "You know, we have many things that are vitally important". I've got a lot of priorities to work on.

"Certainly we'll be good partners on this".

Nenshi said he's willing to talk about the project, but maintains it has to make sense for the city, and insists "public money must be spent for public benefit".

Nenshi said he's not sure it would be helpful for Bettman to act as a facilitator between the Flames and the city, but he did say there's room for discussion if the stars align. "Calgary obviously needs a new arena and hopefully this arena and this complex is inspirational". The key is going to be what is the vision for the arena, where is it going to be and how do the economics of it work.

"Mayor Naheed Nenshi to reporters on March 16:"I will point out I made the mistake of reading the comments".