Your request for at least $490 million in public money for a combined hockey arena/football stadium Frankenstein monster is going nowhere with the skeptical mayor. So who you gonna call? You got that right:
[NHL commissioner Gary] Bettman told [Calgary]’s business community at a chamber of commerce event Monday there should be more urgency to get the project underway, particularly from city council.
“I’m having trouble understanding why there hasn’t been further progress on CalgaryNEXT,” Bettman said. “No matter what anyone thinks of the proposed CalgaryNEXT project or the cost of the project, the cost is never going to be lower than it is today…”
The Scotiabank Saddledome, built in 1983, will be the oldest NHL arena when Canada celebrates its 150th birthday in 2017, he said.
Wow, is that really possible, that no other NHL stadium is more than 32 years old? Why, no, it’s not: Even once the new Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings arenas open this year and next respectively, there’ll still be the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden, born 1968. (And renovated a couple of times since then, but Bettman didn’t say “oldest unrenovated arena.”)
Anyway, this appears to be a somewhat new twist on the old stadium playbook, with Bettman arguing that Calgary residents shouldn’t look at the sticker price, but rather act now because this sale won’t last forever! Which isn’t a new twist in the marketing world, but hey, half of Bettman’s job consists of declaring these kinds of ultimatums, so give him credit for at least coming up with a new way to phrase it.