When it comes to stadium-subsidy campaigns, sports team owners have a massive soapbox and generally aren’t afraid to use it — who can forget the “Yes on Prop C” sign on the San Diego outfield wall throughout the 1998 World Series? The Calgary Flames owners, though, look to be taking things to a new level:
"NHL view, albeit unofficial, is league would prefer players not make political statements. Teams may take money to do so, however." pic.twitter.com/TCCYoAcOyV
— #DCSports Playoffs (@DannyPage) October 8, 2017
— Jason Ribeiro (@Jason_Ribeiro) October 8, 2017
Displaying their bogus and poorly copy edited Powerpoint slides on arena video screens is one thing. Running “Bill Smith For Mayor” ads, whether they were paid for or not, is another, especially when team CEO Ken King previously said:
“We’re not running for office. It’s certainly not an election issue for us,” King said. “We’re certainly not trying to throw fuel on the fire.”
Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail reports that the Flames owners, in addition to seeking public money for a new arena, initially requested “an option to buy and develop land near the events complex, a slice of the Stampede Casino’s revenue, all parking revenue from major events it would manage at the events complex and other goodies.” And also: “the city of Calgary covering the cost of flood insurance, reimbursing the club for all provincial property taxes that may be imposed on the facilities, and requiring local ratepayers to pick up the bill for a public gathering place suitable for festivals next to the arena.” And also:
“Our proposals in the enclosed term sheet outline the minimum requirements for a robust competitive sports environment and the infrastructure needed to compete on the world stage from an entertainment perspective,” Ken King, president of CSEC, said in the letter.
In the latest polls, Smith has reportedly taken a sizable lead over Mayor Naheed Nenshi, based on a massive surge in his support from 18-to-34-year-olds, which is either a sign that Smith’s message is resonating with young people or just a sign that polls suck. We’ll see a week from today.