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Old 04-12-2009, 08:40 AM   #1
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icon57 Flames and Oilers push for new arenas

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Flames president Ken King says the ownership group is at the middle stage of planning for a new arena, and has a soft target opening date by 2014, when the current lease expires at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/Sports/...917/story.html
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:11 AM   #2
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I wonder how the team will look like.
Start of 2014
Nemisz(82 points last season)-Backlund(90 points last season) -Moss(50 goal-scorer)
Boyd(30 goals)-Wahl(30 goals)-Iginla(30 goals)
Glencross(20 goals)-Lundmark(20 goals)-Bourque(25 goals)
Nystrom(Best Fighter in league)-Chucko(15 goal scorer)-Peters(Energy guy)

Phaneuf-Pardy(dynamic duo, Pardy one of the best defensive defensemen in the game)
Regehr-Pelech(Pelech becomes an offensive star)
Negrin-Aulie(Aulie and Negrin should really be top 4 d-man)

Irving
McElhinney(with 2 wins under his belt)
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:22 AM   #3
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McElhinney(with 2 wins under his belt)
Now thats just mean.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:24 AM   #4
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I have a lot of opinions on the new arena, and most of them are either in line with what will happen (like it having to be downtown) or are not that important in the scheme of things === except for one thing I will mention: Why only 18,000 fan areans!?!?!

It is totally elitist crap. You want taxpayers to help pay for it yet you want to make it 2,000-3,000 fans smaller than it is now? Not only hitting the absolute number of fans that can watch but also (no doubt) eliminating the cheapest seats while simultaniously driving up demand (and therefore price) for the remaining seats?

If Minny or Columbus can sellout an 18,000 seat place there is no way that Calgary at 1M+ people (and likely 2M within the life of the arena) can't support a 21,000 seat modern arena (like in Montreal).


The sad thing is that creating an elitist corporate culture around the dome is what nearly killed the team in the late-1980's and early-1990's, where an entire generation of kids could not go to watch soldout Flames games and thus found other things to do. When seats finally did become available (to watch a horrible team) no one had a taste for hockey anymore. It took 10 years to fix that and (re)sell a new generation on the Flames again.

Those extra 3,000 seats are not about revenue today, they are about revenue tomorrow. They are not for people who demand the best sightlines, they are for people who just want to be able to say they were there. They are not for Mr.Smith to talk business with Mr.Jones, they are for Dad to take his Son to a bloody game after work.

Calgary should have the biggest arena in hockey because it is the type of city that can make it work.

You will ALWAYS sellout the cheap seats, they are never the problem...




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Old 04-12-2009, 09:38 AM   #5
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The Flames have been making a killing over the past six years. If they want a new arena, they should pay for it themselves. I'm a big Flames fan but why should my tax dollars go to subsidize a sports arena when we have growing homelessness, unemployment and many other social and economic problems?

The City of Calgary is also making a killing off the Saddledome - don't they add a surcharge to every event held at the Saddledome, be it a hockey game or a music concert?
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Aces High View Post
The Flames have been making a killing over the past six years. If they want a new arena, they should pay for it themselves. I'm a big Flames fan but why should my tax dollars go to subsidize a sports arena when we have growing homelessness, unemployment and many other social and economic problems?

The City of Calgary is also making a killing off the Saddledome - don't they add a surcharge to every event held at the Saddledome, be it a hockey game or a music concert?
The arena is a 'public good' though, I am not saying taxpayers should pay for all/most of it, but I do see how they should/can help with some of the cost or helping to secure financing.

A good arena CAN be an effective tool against unemployment (through its construction, its later operation and economic stimulus from attractions and its expanded base of services), homelessness (providing jobs), and other economic problems (like revitalizing districts and raising morale of ones citizens).


Quality of life in a city is about more than ultra-low taxes and homeless shelters.

Every great city has a great sporting arena facility, most with 3 or 4 or 5 (or more) of them.

And I have seen plenty of evidence (Quebec City or Winnipeg anyone? Hartford even?) that cities that lose their major franchises and/or do not have world class facilities lose any international status they might be clinging to. In short, there IS a tie between the perceived success of a city and its arena facilities.



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Old 04-12-2009, 09:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Claeren View Post
I have a lot of opinions on the new arena, and most of them are either in line with what will happen (like it having to be downtown) or are not that important in the scheme of things === except for one thing I will mention: Why only 18,000 fan areans!?!?!

It is totally elitist crap. You want taxpayers to help pay for it yet you want to make it 2,000-3,000 fans smaller than it is now? Not only hitting the absolute number of fans that can watch but also (no doubt) eliminating the cheapest seats while simultaniously driving up demand (and therefore price) for the remaining seats?

If Minny or Columbus can sellout an 18,000 seat place there is no way that Calgary at 1M+ people (and likely 2M within the life of the arena) can't support a 21,000 seat modern arena (like in Montreal).


The sad thing is that creating an elitist corporate culture around the dome is what nearly killed the team in the late-1980's and early-1990's, where an entire generation of kids could not go to watch soldout Flames games and thus found other things to do. When seats finally did become available (to watch a horrible team) no one had a taste for hockey anymore. It took 10 years to fix that and (re)sell a new generation on the Flames again.

Those extra 3,000 seats are not about revenue today, they are about revenue tomorrow. They are not for people who demand the best sightlines, they are for people who just want to be able to say they were there. They are not for Mr.Smith to talk business with Mr.Jones, they are for Dad to take his Son to a bloody game after work.

Calgary should have the biggest arena in hockey because it is the type of city that can make it work.

You will ALWAYS sellout the cheap seats, they are never the problem...




Claeren.
Where has there been any mention of capping the capacity at 18,000? That article cites 18,000 only as part of an estimate of building costs. In fact, there's a section in the article that says that the current capacity isn't enough to maximize revenue.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Aces High View Post
The Flames have been making a killing over the past six years. If they want a new arena, they should pay for it themselves. I'm a big Flames fan but why should my tax dollars go to subsidize a sports arena when we have growing homelessness, unemployment and many other social and economic problems?

The City of Calgary is also making a killing off the Saddledome - don't they add a surcharge to every event held at the Saddledome, be it a hockey game or a music concert?
You just answered your own question. If the city is going to make a killing off of a new arena, the city has a financial interest in seeing that it gets built.

Mind you, that interest stops far short of the hundreds of millions of dollars that some idiotic municipalities have shovelled into new arenas for the benefit of private-sector operators. Contributing publicly-owned land for the site, plus maybe an abatement of property taxes, is probably the reasonable limit.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:51 AM   #9
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I thought the whole plan with a new arena was to have more executive boxes by lowering the amount of cheapo seats....
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:59 AM   #10
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Where has there been any mention of capping the capacity at 18,000? That article cites 18,000 only as part of an estimate of building costs. In fact, there's a section in the article that says that the current capacity isn't enough to maximize revenue.
The number has been brought up a lot, including in this article.

In past articles Ken King (and/or others?) has been quoted talking about how it is planned be a more intimate building, modelled after buildings seen as very well designed like the Xcel Energy Centre in Minny (18,000 for hockey), Nationwide Arena in Columbus (18,100 for hockey) and American Airlines Center in Dallas (18,500 for hockey).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xcel_Energy_Center
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationwide_Arena
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines_Center



The other horrible (yet 'revenue maximizing' ) feature of the new buildings tends to be huge/deep inner bowls (usually reserved as expensive club seats) which pushes back the first deck much farther from the ice than at the Dome. Arguably the Dome has the best 2nd tier seats in the league because the 'gold ring' seats are so close to the ice, yet are elevated enough to allow a full view as well. Depending on luxury box configeration anyone not in a box or the inner bowl starts to get pushed back from the ice pretty quickly, and not surprisingly leaves the nosebleeds as less and less desirable, especially if it is some wealthier spoiled person making the decision on whether to include them, where they would think "who the hell would pay to sit up here!? Lets just cut them out!?" (booo!)




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Old 04-12-2009, 10:01 AM   #11
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I can't afford to go to many Flames games or concerts, the price of tickets is simply too high. Why should my tax dollars go towards subsidizing something that I will be unable to get into to? It is time for big business to stop asking for handouts. The city doesn't pay for 50% of my tickets to Flames games, so why should the province, by way of my tax dollars, pay for 50% of the construction of a new arena?

I agree that there is certainly a fair argument to be made regarding public works projects stimulating the economy. Surely these public works projects would be better allocated to building things that can be shared by the community as a whole, instead of the upper 25% of society that can afford outrageous ticket prices to sporting and concert events? I'm talking things like improving public transit, building new overpasses, new community centres, new amateur hockey rinks and soccer fields, etc.

I read an article in the Calgary Herald yesterday that stated that the Flames are near the top of the league in terms of revenue per game collected via ticket sales. It was something like 1.4 or 1.5 million per game. The arena sells out almost every game, and has done for the past five years. There is no need for a new arena. The team is crying that it can't maximize the potential profits in the current arena. If that is truly the case, why don't they invest some of the money the have made into building a new one? Why should I have to pay? There is no way under the current economic climate in which regular people are being laid off left and right that the provincial or municipal government can justify subsidizing billionaire owners and millionaire hockey players. Just ain't gonna happen people.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:17 AM   #12
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I can't afford to go to many Flames games or concerts, the price of tickets is simply too high. Why should my tax dollars go towards subsidizing something that I will be unable to get into to? It is time for big business to stop asking for handouts. The city doesn't pay for 50% of my tickets to Flames games, so why should the province, by way of my tax dollars, pay for 50% of the construction of a new arena?

I agree that there is certainly a fair argument to be made regarding public works projects stimulating the economy. Surely these public works projects would be better allocated to building things that can be shared by the community as a whole, instead of the upper 25% of society that can afford outrageous ticket prices to sporting and concert events? I'm talking things like improving public transit, building new overpasses, new community centres, new amateur hockey rinks and soccer fields, etc.

I read an article in the Calgary Herald yesterday that stated that the Flames are near the top of the league in terms of revenue per game collected via ticket sales. It was something like 1.4 or 1.5 million per game. The arena sells out almost every game, and has done for the past five years. There is no need for a new arena. The team is crying that it can't maximize the potential profits in the current arena. If that is truly the case, why don't they invest some of the money the have made into building a new one? Why should I have to pay? There is no way under the current economic climate in which regular people are being laid off left and right that the provincial or municipal government can justify subsidizing billionaire owners and millionaire hockey players. Just ain't gonna happen people.

50% of the cost is going to be paid by the local government using taxpayer cash? What is your source for that number?

Ohhhh wait, you are just trolling and fear mongering based on some shortsighted agenda you have put together since reading an article in the paper!! I get it, carry on then....


I would think it is more likely that the government will help with a small precentage of the cost, and then help with securing financing for such a large project as well.

The total cost to taxpayers will likely be roughly in line with the benefits. Not more and not less. (As things like this usually are once all the sensationalism dies down.)

Beyond the direct quality of life issues affecting far far far more than the 25% you quote as benefiting, multiplied over a 30 year time horizon, it helps bring world class events to the city, world class talent to the city, vibrancy to the city, allows the city the to maintain its position in the world economy as a mid-tier metropolitan city that punches above its weight, generates its own signifant tax revenues for various levels of government, and perhaps most importantly to your point, it provides a serious place of business where all sorts of business relationships are formed, cemented and grown -- resulting in all sorts of grassroots business/GDP growth in the province.



The taxpayers DO get a benefit.

Like always, good people have to be placed in charge of the project and corruption anywhere in the process has to be eliminated (Calgary is pretty good at this from a international standpoint), but beyond that I don't see it as a big issue at all.

There is something else the city is providing you that I would never use, do you hear me complaining??



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Old 04-12-2009, 10:25 AM   #13
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You've got me all wrong there Claeren, I'm not trolling or fear mongering at all. Yes, the 50% number I stated I just pulled out of the air, it is not backed up by anything I have read. It was just a number, I could have said 20%, it doesn't make any difference. There is nothing wrong with the Saddledome as it currently stands. The article quoted above states that we're losing out on acts such as Britney Spears because the roof isn't strong enough.

I've seen the biggest bands in the world play at the Saddledome, from U2 in April 2001 to Oasis last year. This is fear mongering in my opinion, trying to justify taxpayer subsidization so that we don't miss out on the likes of Britney Spears. I can't afford to pay $100 per ticket to see Britney Spears, so why should my tax dollars subsidize bringing her to the city?

The Flames are near the top of the league in ticket revenue per game. We spent right to the salary cap this year and the Flames will still turn a tidy profit. There is no need for a new arena.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:28 AM   #14
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Ohhhh wait, you are just trolling and fear mongering based on some shortsighted agenda you have put together since reading an article in the paper!! I get it, carry on then.....
I sure wish people could have a good, intelligent debate over a topic without silly lines like this included. It ruins a good post.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:35 AM   #15
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You've got me all wrong there Claeren, I'm not trolling or fear mongering at all. Yes, the 50% number I stated I just pulled out of the air, it is not backed up by anything I have read. It was just a number, I could have said 20%, it doesn't make any difference. There is nothing wrong with the Saddledome as it currently stands. The article quoted above states that we're losing out on acts such as Britney Spears because the roof isn't strong enough.

I've seen the biggest bands in the world play at the Saddledome, from U2 in April 2001 to Oasis last year. This is fear mongering in my opinion, trying to justify taxpayer subsidization so that we don't miss out on the likes of Britney Spears. I can't afford to pay $100 per ticket to see Britney Spears, so why should my tax dollars subsidize bringing her to the city?

The Flames are near the top of the league in ticket revenue per game. We spent right to the salary cap this year and the Flames will still turn a tidy profit. There is no need for a new arena.
Your tax dollars already pay for alot of stuff that you may never use.... And it sounds like you DO use the faciltys.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:43 AM   #16
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If I go to see a band play, I have no problem paying to see them. I do have a problem with MY tax dollars subsidizing YOU going to see a band you like.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:48 AM   #17
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You've got me all wrong there Claeren, I'm not trolling or fear mongering at all. Yes, the 50% number I stated I just pulled out of the air, it is not backed up by anything I have read. It was just a number, I could have said 20%, it doesn't make any difference. There is nothing wrong with the Saddledome as it currently stands. The article quoted above states that we're losing out on acts such as Britney Spears because the roof isn't strong enough.

I've seen the biggest bands in the world play at the Saddledome, from U2 in April 2001 to Oasis last year. This is fear mongering in my opinion, trying to justify taxpayer subsidization so that we don't miss out on the likes of Britney Spears. I can't afford to pay $100 per ticket to see Britney Spears, so why should my tax dollars subsidize bringing her to the city?

The Flames are near the top of the league in ticket revenue per game. We spent right to the salary cap this year and the Flames will still turn a tidy profit. There is no need for a new arena.


Instead of waiting until the Dome is literally falling apart the ownership group of the Flames is trying to be proactive in getting the planning process started.

If not today then when is the Dome too old and outdated? When it is 25 years old? (Already there), when it is 30 years old? (A couple short years away), when it is 40 years old? (When most young labourers who built the Dome itself have long since moved into retirement)?

Growing dynamic cities with high quality of life do not rest their laurels on 40 year old formerly-top tier sporting and entertainment infrastructure. And they certainly do not wait until that 40th year to start planning the next step.


By the time the new arena is completed (and I would be shocked if it is anywhere close to 2014 as they would have to be starting contruction asap if that were the case) it WILL be needed by the city.

It is incredibly shortsighted to not plan now for what we will need later because you can't afford tickets to a Flames Game (or Roughnecks game, or Hitmen game, or monster truck show, or circus, or concert, --- all of which I doubt).




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Old 04-12-2009, 10:49 AM   #18
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If I go to see a band play, I have no problem paying to see them. I do have a problem with MY tax dollars subsidizing YOU going to see a band you like.
What about YOUR tax dollars helping me in the Hospital? Or what about your tax dollars letting me enjoy a Park? Going to the Library? Swimming? Refunds for my kids? Going to the Zoo? Driving on the roads? cleaning the snow off my street?
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:51 AM   #19
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Nothing wrong with the Flames being proactive about finding a location, engineering blueprints, etc. If they want to build a new arena, have at it. I just don't want my tax dollars to subsidize a new arena so that billionaire owners and millionaire hockey players/concert performers can get wealthier. I'd rather my tax dollars go towards social programs and improving city infrastructure, and the majority of people are on my side, not yours, otherwise this new arena would have gone ahead years ago when Ken King first started making noise about it.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #20
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I sure wish people could have a good, intelligent debate over a topic without silly lines like this included. It ruins a good post.
I suppose, to me there is no debate though. This happens all the time at skyscraperpage (and at city hall) where these people come out of the woodwork complaining left right and centre about their precious tax dollars being wasted on this or that public work yet they are always the first people with their own list of demands for city resources and worst of all they usually have all sorts of distorted impressions and facts that they use to rally others to their cause - exhaggerating the problem they create for projects even more and pushing perfectly legitimate projects further and further behind schedule and/or even creating the type of financial waste they first rallied against (a self fullfilling prophacy) by delaying the energy behind a project.

I have very little patience for it.




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