Calgary Flames CEO Ken King has released a new video on the team’s proposed $890 million stadium-arena complex, hoping to reverse the negative momentum that the project has built up since it was first floated last summer. And if standing in a white void while yammering buzzwords over renderings and clips of girls holding hockey sticks and people running up a flight of stairs will do the job, he nailed it:
I could go into a point-by-point breakdown of King’s speech, but fortunately I don’t have to, because Kent Wilson of Flames Nation has already done it. Among the points Wilson notes: Hockey arenas don’t really serve as “catalysts,” claims that building a combined arena and stadium represents a “$330 million savings” aren’t supported by any actual numbers, and the Flames wouldn’t really be paying for more than half the cost. And then there’s this, on King’s assertion that “CalgaryNext is also going to fulfil the top unfunded recreational priority for the city: a fieldhouse“:
Here’s how the hypothetical conversation between the team and the city would go on this topic:
Flames: “Hey, wouldn’t it be great to have a fieldhouse?”
City: “Yup, we’ve wanted one for awhile. We figure it will cost about $200 million to build. We aren’t sure how to justify the cost budget-wise right now though.”
Flames: “How about you just roll the $200 million cost into the arena district we’re planning in the West Village? Then the Stamps can play there too.”
City: “What? That doesn’t change the problem of funding it.”
Flames: “Can you imagine all the things the city can do with a fieldhouse? Did you know Calgary is the only City in…”
City: “You’re not answering the question.”
Unless the Flames come along and say “we’ll help pay for the fieldhouse”, or bring something new to the concept of the fieldhouse, any discussions of a fieldhouse aren’t useful. It would be like a neighbour telling you to buy a hot tub for your backyard so he can use it once in awhile. And when you tell them you’d like a hot tub but can’t afford it, he starts regaling you with the benefits of a hot tub.
And all this is at a Flames fan site, mind you. Clearly King is going to need a bigger video. Maybe something with a magic hockey puck.