In the latest development in a story that keeps dragging on without actually developing, Calgary Flames CEO Ken King stated today that the new arena project would be announced within the next few weeks.
King shared the news in a morning appearance on KISS 95.9 this morning.
The Flames have been trying to replace the Saddledome for literally just shy of a decade, looking jealously at other markets while the Saddledome has quietly become one of the oldest arenas in the entire National Hockey League. Edmonton and Detroit are poised to open brand-new arenas in the next few seasons (Edmonton in 2016, Detroit in 2017 or 2018), while the New York Islanders are leaving the confines of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center next season.
All this, combined with the extensive renovations to Madison Square Garden (which will likely be mothballed when the current lease expires in 2023 to make room for a new Penn Station) means that the Saddledome is rather drab and dated in comparison.
This latest announcement is a bit of a Groundhog Day announcement, in the sense that King has publicly stated that an announcement was coming “within weeks,” and no details about location, funding structure or anything else have emerged since the project was first teased in 2007. The Flames are definitely envious of the funding package garnered by the Oilers for their new building, but both the City of Calgary and the province have been hesitant – at best – to throwing any money towards a new Flames arena.
I don’t want to be overly skeptical, but I’ll believe there’s an announcement when I see an announcement.