Wray Morrison: Flickering hopes

April 3, 2017 - 12:54pm

The Calgary Flames need a new home.

There were some intriguing developments in this story last week. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi described an $890-million stadium/arena plan as "dead."

On the heels of that, Calgary Flames president Ken King said, “We're not threatening people, I think and hope we' re going to get a deal. If that doesn't happen the truth of the matter is we would just move.”

The Saddledome, built in 1983, is out of date.

When the 2017-18 season starts, the Saddledome will be the oldest building in the NHL.

A new home for the Flames will take government money. Politicians and citizens can be short sighted about public money going in to facilities for professional sports franchises.

It is true that professional athletes, just like performers who visit Canada's biggest venues, get paid millions of dollars. However the economic spin off in tourism dollars and to local businesses is a driver.

There is an economic return – but like anything, that return requires an initial investment.