Flames greet hockey fans with pro-arena ads one week before mayoral election

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:


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.

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12 comments on “Flames greet hockey fans with pro-arena ads one week before mayoral election

  1. “…what could have possibly transpired in that one week,” aside from Calgarians realizing that the Flames are leaving if they re-elect Nenshi?

    1. Dunno, but if you believe the polls, it’s clearly not that that’s concerning voters: http://calgaryherald.com/news/politics/over-spending-and-taxes-not-a-new-arena-top-voter-concerns-in-new-poll

  2. Obviously, Calgary is going to need more economic lessons to counter the Flames propaganda… http://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/major-dont-believe-the-naysayers-flames-and-a-new-arena-are-great-for-the-city

  3. My feeling is that Bill Smith as mayor likely won’t change the city’s position much with the Flames owners. I had to laugh at the details stated in the Globe article of what the Flames owners wanted (and what other cities appear to have allowed). The way I read things was that the Flames owners wanted us Calgary taxpayers to give them money to freely develop an area of our city as THEY see fit as opposed to us taxpayers giving that money to our elected officials, whom we have sway over, to develop an area as WE as citizens of the city see fit.

  4. Post Media (who paid for the poll) is firmly planted on the right of the political spectrum… as is the Herald, of course. There was a time the newspapers that weren’t the Sun in Alberta attempted to be neutral, or perish the thought even slightly left of centre.

    That ended when Southam bought out both the Herald and Journal, and recent realignments (the Sun papers AND the Journal/Herald are all owned by Post Media now) have not done anything to limit the slant.

    Also, the poll was pretty small… just 1500 residents, and the results were weighted by respondent category by the sound of it. From a related article:

    “Mainstreet surveyed 1,500 Calgarians using using automated, interactive voice-response (IVR) technology and responses were weighted using demographic and geographic information to targets based on the 2016 Census.”

    Put’s Valentin’s comment that we “don’t monkey with the numbers at all” in context….

    So, at best I’d call the results dubious (particularly given the amount of the swing in a short short time, as noted by Bratt. I think we’ve heard enough in recent months/years about “the only poll that matters” haven’t we?

    We’ll all know in a week who is lying and who isn’t.

  5. This link isn’t about the Flames but the continued greasing from the pro sports executives who espouse their own self professed value to their respective communities:
    Baseball can work for Tampa Bay in the right spot, stadium guru says http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/baseball-can-work-for-tampa-bay-in-the-right-spot-stadium-guru-says/2340547
    Being considered Major League now disctates that you have to be a major sucker for their bs…

    1. “Calgarians realizing that the Flames are leaving if they re-elect Nenshi?”

      When are they leaving?

  6. Another new poll!

    With even fewer respondents and no random selection criteria (even random selection from specific demographic groups, like the last one).

    And the results are the exact opposite!


    You know what this means, right? The public needs a third poll before election day….

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