Flames New Arena Design Leaked?

Kent Wilson
January 29 2014 07:10PM

 

Screen grab from Daily Planet

 

Metro News contacted me today to talk about this topic. It was all news to me when they called to tell you the truth.

Short version: apparently a recent episode of Daily Planet showed off a new sports arena concept animation. The concept featured Flames logos and branding pretty prominently. 

Robson Fletcher of Metro News asked me if Ithought that was suggestive. As noted in the linked article, I told him it certainly pointed to someone working with the Flames since it's rare companies will release branded material if they aren't actually at least talking with the company in question. That said, I also metioned (in the part of our conversation that didn't make into the article) that sometimes a concept will have a logo arbitrarily slapped on to make it seem more realistic.

Overall, I don't think you can say one way or the other. It's an eyebrow raiser given how close the organization is to making a decision on a new building, but it's by no means a guarantee of anything either.

The rest of the story at the Metro.

 

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 MontanaMan
January 29 2014, 08:25PM
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I may be in the minority, but I'm a strong advocate of building a new arena in a prime locaton in Calgary. The Saddledome is outdated and can't host major concerts or events. This rhetoric of "don't use taxpayers dollars" is ridiculous. Of course the taxpayer will pay a portion to build the arena and rightly so. Any idea how much property tax the arena and the the team will pay for many years to come? In the end, the arena should be built by combined dollars from the Flames ownership, private money (arena sponsor) and taxpayers. I say start the building tomorrow!

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#2 bookofloob
January 29 2014, 08:22PM
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This "brand new arena prototype" is going to look so good in NHL 99

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#3 Colin.S
January 29 2014, 07:19PM
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If this is the concept I'd be pissed, simply because that seems expensive as hell and a LOT of public money will of course be financing it. One of the biggest cons going around, public financing for stadiums is crap.

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#4 beloch
January 30 2014, 01:24AM
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First off, to those who are complaining about the lack of a second tier... It's there. Panels suspended from the roof of this ceiling are able to move down to change the size and shape of the enclosed space, and the picture shows what it looks like when the top tier is above the panels. See the link to find the link to the video where you have to watch several commercials and then jump 4 minutes in (Good job guys).

This could be a retrofit proposal for the Saddledome, but it's probably an entirely new stadium. I don't know if the saddledome's roof can support the extra weight of that paneling system, plus the render shows an entire row of boxes above the first tier unlike the current interior of the saddledome. This is likely a rejected design, for reasons others have stated above, but it suggests that the owners are looking for a multi-purpose building. What a surprise!

Funding this building is going to be tough. Stadiums cost rather a lot. I've suspected that the Flames ownership, contrary to all public claims, is not willing to spend to the cap for the next few years through the rebuild. Every cap-dollar saved can be put towards a down-payment on the new arena. Obviously, if the org can own their new digs outright, it's better for their finances. They get all the profits. Well, it's better for them unless Calgary's city hall is comprised of total chumps the way Edmonton's city hall apparently is.

IF public funds are solicited for a new arena in Calgary, I surely hope that whatever governments involved treat it like a freakin' business deal. If you invest, you reap dividends. If public dollars are spent on an arena then the public is owed a share of the revenue. No crazy rip-off BS deals like Katz pulled off in Edmonton. I'm okay with public funds being invested in a new arena because I believe they'll net a profit.

Just to be absolutely clear, #$%@ Katz and #$*% Edmonton City Hall. Katz might have gotten a sweet deal for himself, but the train-wreck of a deal he suckered Edmonton city hall into swallowing has given hockey arena financing a bad name. Arenas are not a public service because the public pays through the nose to get in. They're there to make money. Those who pay for them deserve a cut.

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#5 the forgotten man
January 29 2014, 09:50PM
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Can't justify any public funds going to a new stadium for the Flames...if Murray and King want it they can go 'cap in hand' to a bank to finance the build on their own dime. The only partnership I am open to is a stadium surcharge on every ticket sold for whatever event at the new building. Like a toll road, the primary users fund the payment of the arena...seems fair to me.

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#6 Nick24
January 29 2014, 07:50PM
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I might just be playing captain obvious here, but doesn't it seem a little small to be an NHL area?

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#7 RexLibris
January 29 2014, 11:05PM
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Something innately funny about an article of the Flames new stadium using the term "leaked".

That looks like an awfully claustrophobic design and limited seating.

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#8 Primo
January 29 2014, 07:33PM
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This new building innovation is really amazing. I believe the Flames will position this to take full advantage of new designs and technology. Looks really exciting and fits well with a progressive city like Calgary. I'm guessing the recent hardships caused by the 2013 flood is delaying any potential announcement. Given the need for the Flames to uphold a strong community reputation I'm sure a solution will be found to appease everyone including the critics. We are behind the other North American cities with regards to new football and hockey facilities and hopefully we can move this along quickly!

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#9 CTibs
January 29 2014, 07:27PM
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From what I interpreted from the Daily Planet video, the building features that this guy is showing off are only concepts, and nothing is actually planned. Perhaps these guys were contracted to produce a design for the new arena (including the stadium roof concept) but got rejected by the Flames. Since those designs were no longer in use for any projects, it was fair game to use in the video.

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#10 SVENSANITY
January 29 2014, 09:30PM
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For me. There's no way I'd support tax dollars going directly into the building of an arena/stadia w/e it ends up being. I would however be fine if they worked exclusively with the city on a redevelopment plan and part of the plan was a revitalization of like the west end of Downtown (or area similar fireside, etc) and so the clean up of the cresol site and road reconfigurations around crowchild-bow trail and 9th ave there was paid for by the tax payers. I can justify that. As the Flames building an arena there ensures the future success of that district financially. So it's a true mutual partnership. And you know the city is eventually going to redevelop those areas anyway so why not get involved and help shape the area.

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#11 WildBill_1485
January 29 2014, 08:37PM
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Nick24 wrote:

I might just be playing captain obvious here, but doesn't it seem a little small to be an NHL area?

If you follow the link to the article, and then the link to the video from there, you'll see what they are talking about. The roof retracts for concerts/Hitmen games I would assume, the screen shot is part of an animation that shows the transformation from an NHL size arena to a concert set up. Pretty neat, but I'll admit I thought the same thing as you when I first saw the photo :)

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#12 Kypreos
January 29 2014, 08:49PM
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A retractable roof would be awesome. Imagine a stadium game whenever the weather permits.

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#13 Karasu89
January 30 2014, 12:04AM
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@SlapSchtick

if you would watch the video you would see they are talking about an interactive roof.. http://watch.discoverychannel.ca/#clip1064990

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#14 ianberg1
January 30 2014, 06:34AM
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Tax dollars will go into a new Flames arena. I just want to see a plan where there's a return on the investment within a fixed amount of time or government gets a piece of the team.

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#15 McRib
January 30 2014, 10:52AM
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Love the idea that the roof drops down for Calgary Hitmen Games will give WHL games a much better atmosphere as we consistently average 7,000+ people (always top two in the WHL for attendance), but they are lost in the 20,000 Saddledome. Anyone who attended Hitmen Playoffs games in the Corral back in the 90s knows how much better a smaller rink would be for the junior club atmosphere.

I know someone who works for the provincial government and they recently told me that when Edmonton FIRST applied for provincial financing the Flames also did so as well while the books were open very quitely. Considering we don’t have a cheapskate of an owner it is believed Murray Edwards is more than willing to front the rest (unlike Katz) and the finiancials are almost all but certain for a new rink that will be built close to the old Saddledome on the Stampede grounds. Even told they are working out plans to build it on top of a new future train station.

Anyone who has attended games in the United Center, Xcel Energy Centre and the CONSOL Energy Center knows that Populous does outstanding work. They also designed the ACC, Prudential Center, Jobing.com Arena, Pepsi Center and Honda Centre all very nice rinks. Also have designed some awesome Ballparks having been to all but a handful of MLB/NHL facilities Populous designed buildings would make up 7 of my Top 10 Baseball Parks (PNC, Wrigley- redesign, Camden, Coors, Target, New Yankee & Citizens Bank) and 4 of my Top 5 rinks (United Centre, Bell, Consol, Xcel & ACC). Lets not even get started on the NFL Fields (Hentz Field in particular) or Olympic/World Cup Stadiums, I hope this leak is true as no other design firm is as weld class as Populous.

http://populous.com/work/

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#16 lionlager
January 29 2014, 11:16PM
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@RexLibris

My first thought after seeing the headline was oh dammit... More flooding?

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#17 Ryan Pike
January 29 2014, 11:25PM
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If I were a hockey club looking for an arena, I'd call Populous. They did work in Sochi that Brian Burke has raved about, so it's not like there's no connection.

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#18 SVENSANITY
January 29 2014, 09:16PM
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@CTibs

Don't think they'd be allowed to use the Flames logo like that though without getting nailed for trade mark infringement. All logos are NHL property and trademarks of the NHL. Granted Populous is a pretty big and top notch architect company so it may not matter to them financially. However, this does seem like the subtle leak strategy that Ken King has used in the past to engage fans reactions.

Also Populous has done 3 of the last 5 modern arenas built including console in PIT so it wouldn't surprise me if they are involved in the design process of the new arena.

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#19 SlapSchtick
January 29 2014, 11:36PM
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I hope this is only a first attempt... by a grade schooler. Seriously, only one tier? What is this, a 7500 capacity stadium? I doubt it's validity based on that alone...

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#20 Baalzamon
January 30 2014, 08:32AM
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They have a gif on Matchsticks where you can clearly see the arena has twice as much seating as in the picture above. The ceiling drops down to cover (presumably for smaller events).

http://www.matchsticksandgasoline.com/2014/1/29/5358130/possible-new-flames-arena-leak

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#21 McRib
January 30 2014, 12:02PM
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Ken King just confirmed the concept is legit and the Flames have hired Populous to design some concepts for our new rink this was one of them.

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#22 prendrefeu
January 30 2014, 12:27PM
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Will the new theme song have something to do with raising the roof?

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#23 MonsterPod
January 30 2014, 07:39PM
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As long as KK is doing this and not meddling in hockey ops, I'm happy.

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#24 matsthomassen
January 29 2014, 09:10PM
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I was under the impression what was shown in the episode was a mock-up/concept for a retrofit to the existing saddledome to finally solve the acoustic issues there. Hence the flame logos at centre ice.

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#25 matsthomassen
January 29 2014, 09:10PM
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I was under the impression what was shown in the episode was a mock-up/concept for a retrofit to the existing saddledome to finally solve the acoustic issues there. Hence the flame logos at centre ice.

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#26 matsthomassen
January 29 2014, 09:16PM
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Apologies for double post.

Also, that concept looks completely outrageous.

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#27 SVENSANITY
January 29 2014, 09:24PM
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@matsthomassen

Why would they spend that kind of money on an old building to put in a fancy roof remodel when the concourse and the lack of customer experience (crap washrooms, long lines for beer and hotdogs, missing large portions of the game because of this) is the biggest problem with the dome? Financially that makes no sense. They will definitely be either A. rebuilding on the site of the dome. Almost full demo/rebuild where it goes back to at the very least the foundation or B. building a new arena somewhere else. I'm pretty confident on that.

It's possible that this was just a design idea they came up with in consultation with the Flames but may have absolutely nothing to do with what get's built. However, they wanted to show what future arenas might look like. IT also would not surprise me if this is the company that eventually does rebuild the new arena as they've done a lot of sports facilities around the world. All of them innovative when they were built. Including the O2 in London, Wembley in London, a bunch for the olympics, console for the Pens. etc. you get the idea.

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#28 Baalzamon
January 29 2014, 10:56PM
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Nick24 wrote:

I might just be playing captain obvious here, but doesn't it seem a little small to be an NHL area?

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Captain_Obvious

“This is an article about me, Captain Obvious.” ~ Captain Obvious on this obvious article

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#29 DoubleP
January 30 2014, 12:04AM
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SlapSchtick wrote:

I hope this is only a first attempt... by a grade schooler. Seriously, only one tier? What is this, a 7500 capacity stadium? I doubt it's validity based on that alone...

Noted above but follow the link as Kent describes. The concept has the roof dropping to cover the upper deck for smaller events (similar to how the retractable sails in BC Place work for Whitecaps games).

Not sure how ready to market this technology is, but it would undoubtably be the pinnacle of the league if it were to actually happen and open the building up for many different levels of events.

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#30 TheRealPoc
January 30 2014, 10:12AM
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My pops ran into King during the first Flames-Hawks game in Calgary this year; they had a quick chat about the new arena and Kenny told him the location's already finalized. Take that how you will.

I'd expect an announcement tied into, oh I dunno, a 1st overall pick draft party in the offseason.

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#31 insvenwetrust
January 30 2014, 01:49PM
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what is this?.... an arena for ants?...it needs to be atleast 3 times this size? lol

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#33 Burnward
January 29 2014, 10:38PM
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Nick24 wrote:

I might just be playing captain obvious here, but doesn't it seem a little small to be an NHL area?

Not Captain Obvious, Captain Logical.

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#34 Nilsson
January 29 2014, 11:56PM
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Where are the lights, speakers, press boxes? Seems to me those things would interfere with the ceiling being able to move.

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#35 RustyStrombone
January 30 2014, 10:51AM
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When looking at the video/GIF I find it interesting that the jumbotron appears to be playing an actual Calgary Flames top ten video.

I would say that rules out the "they just slapped a logo on there" theory, and I doubt they would go to that extent if this wasn't a proposal that was presented to the Flames brass at the very least. That said, a proposal is just that, and I doubt that this design or idea is what we will actually see when an announcement is actually made.

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