Representatives of the Calgary Flames, the Calgary mayor’s office, and other “stakeholders” (e.g., local developers, because can’t have a meeting without them, right?) met yesterday to discuss the Flames’ $890-million-or-maybe-a-lot-more arenastadium proposal. And while Mayor Naheed Nenshi withheld comment for now following the talks, Flames CEO Ken King did not. At all:
King downplayed the project’s detractors, saying they were the vocal minority.
“There are people that are against anything that’s ever built,” he said, singling out the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which recently launched an online petition in protest of any tax dollars being used to fund the project.
“People who hate are going to hate,” King said.
He also said it could be difficult to sway the opinion of some politicians — who he wouldn’t name — who are “dead set against it.”
“I’ve had no political pushback other than the people you know who have been outspoken about it,” King offered. “There are political people … you’re written about them.”
Oh, Ken — so close. Also, implicitly dissing the guy across the table for you by calling him a hater if he doesn’t cut you a nine-figure check doesn’t seem like the best negotiating strategy to me, but maybe this is just how they do things on the mean streets of Canada.