Never one to mince words, President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames Brian Burke has called the team's arena "embarrassing."
Speaking to a sold-out crowd at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Burke said a new arena is needed to meet future NHL standards.
“A building has . . . to generate NHL economics, which our building does not,” the Calgary Herald quotes Burke as saying.
“Lower bowl in a new arena — in the new generation of arenas — is 9,000 seats, minimum. Ours is what — 6,000? So we’re not generating the revenue that an NHL building does," he said, adding that the sightlines in the aging facility aren't as good, and that the suites and amenities for fans are lacking compared to other arenas.
“It’s embarrassing,” he said, adding the Scotiabank Saddledome is "the finest state-of-the-art 1988 building in the [NHL]."
Burke told the audience that a new arena has to potential to revitalize Calgary's downtown, reports CBC News.
The Scotiabank Saddledome, which opened in 1983, seats 19,289.
According to Global News, the idea of a new rink has the support of many in the business community, as well as at least one city councillor.
“I was three-years-old when the Saddledome was built,” said Ward 8 councillor Evan Woolley.
“I would like to think I have grown up since then, and I know the city has.”
The Calgary Chamber of Commerce also seems keen on the idea of a new arena.
“It’s another meeting, convention facility that Calgary’s really in desperate need of,” President Adam Legge told 660 News.
“There’s absolutely no reason why we should watch a new building going up in Edmonton and we’ve got to play in a 1988 building here," Burke said. Check out the hi-res images of the new Edmonton arena, currently under construction.
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