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Report: Flames close to announcing arena plans

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB - OCTOBER 6: A general view of the exterior of the Scotiabank Saddledome with the Calgary skyline behind prior to the Flames’ home opening NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks during at Scotiabank Saddledome on October 6, 2013 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

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Madison Square Garden, home of the Rangers, recently completed a $1 billion renovation.

The Islanders are moving to a new building in Brooklyn.

The Oilers and Red Wings are building new downtown rinks.

Which brings us to the Calgary Flames, who’ve made it no secret they’d like a new arena of their own, to replace the Scotiabank Saddledome that opened all the way back in 1983.

According to the Calgary Herald, the club may be close to announcing plans to solve its “embarrassing” arena situation.

But how much public funding that plan will require stands to be a hot-button issue.

Multiple sources said the Flames have studied city-owned lands around the Greyhound bus station, a district dubbed West Village and pegged for massive redevelopment akin to East Village.

It will almost certainly require “some sort of public-private” arrangement to work, [Flames CEO Ken] King said.

That’s where he risks an uphill climb, for a project sure to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Calgarians and city council overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer subsidies for a new Flames venue — as Edmonton councillors were, until they changed their minds in the name of downtown rejuvenation.

The newspaper story has all the details, and it sure makes it sound like the Flames face a challenge in getting something done, given the club’s touchy dealings with the city.