Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

Here’s how every NHL arena was funded

Professional sports can be a very profitable endeavour. But it’s also expensive, particularly because one of the key inputs for having a professional sports franchise is often a building for games to be played in. The old saying is “you’ve gotta spend money to make money,” but when it comes to arenas and stadiums, whose money is being spent?

In light of the never-ending saga of the Calgary Flames and their arena, we dug into the murky corners of Wikipedia to answer a question: Just whose money went into building the 31 current NHL arenas?

A handy table

(Disclaimer: Let’s not lie to ourselves here, every building gets some public money spent on it, even if it’s tax breaks, infrastructure tie-ins or land. When we discuss “Public Money” here, we mean that governmental bodies had to fork over a significant portion of the capital outlay for the building.)

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
City Opened Owner Public Money?
Detroit, MI 2017 Downtown Development Authority Yes
Edmonton, AB 2016 City of Edmonton Yes
Paradise, NV 2016 AEG/MGM No
Brooklyn, NY 2012 Brooklyn Arena Local Development Corp. Yes
Pittsburgh, PA 2010 Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Alleghany County Yes
Newark, NJ 2007 Newark Housing Authority Yes
Winnipeg, MB 2004 True North Sports & Entertainment No
Glendale, AZ 2003 City of Glendale Yes
Dallas, TX 2001 City of Dallas Yes
Columbus, OH 2000 Nationwide Insurance/Dispatch Publishing Group (originally) No
St. Paul, MN 2000 City of St. Paul Yes
Toronto, ON 1999 Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment No
Denver, CO 1999 Kroenke Sports and Entertainment No
Raleigh, NC 1999 Centennial Authority Yes
Los Angeles, CA 1999 LA Arena Company (AEG) No
Sunrise, FL 1998 Broward County Yes
Washington, DC 1997 Monumental Sports and Entertainment No
Tampa, FL 1996 Tampa Sports Authority Yes
Montreal, QC 1996 Molson family No
Nashville, TN 1996 Sports Authority of Nashville and Davidson County Yes
Ottawa, ON 1996 Capital Sports Properties No
Buffalo, NY 1996 Erie County Yes
Philadelphia, PA 1996 Comcast Spectacor No
Vancouver, BC 1995 Canucks Sports and Entertainment No
Boston, MA 1995 Delaware North No
St. Louis, MO 1994 City of St. Louis Yes
Chicago, IL 1994 United Center Joint Venture No
Anaheim, CA 1993 City of Anaheim Yes
San Jose, CA 1993 City of San Jose Yes
Calgary, AB 1983 City of Calgary Yes
New York, NY 1968 Madison Square Garden Company No

Let’s break this down a bit…

Primarily privately funded buildings

Teams built their own buildings primarily out of their own pockets in every Canadian market (except for Calgary and Edmonton) as well as the major American markets (plus Vegas and Columbus).

Public money tied to expansion/relocation

Teams received significant public contributions to bring an NHL team to town in Calgary, San Jose, Anaheim, Nashville, Tampa, Minnesota and Carolina. (In Calgary’s case, the Olympic discussions also played a big part, but it’s unlikely they would’ve built an arena only for the Olympics without an NHL club.)

They were worried team would leave

Public funds were provided to contribute to new arenas for St. Louis, Buffalo and Glendale, in part due to concerns that the teams would leave town without a new home. (The Blues had almost moved to Saskatoon in 1983 and the Kiel Center’s construction, combined with new local ownership, helped cement the team’s roots.)

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The buildings were meant to revitalize downtown

Four cities with concerns about how sketchy their downtown areas were sunk considerable public funds into shiny arenas to spur development: Detroit, Edmonton, Brooklyn and Newark.

None of the above

Dallas seems to be the exception to the rule. The Stars played for a few seasons in Dallas before they and the Mavericks started chatting about a new arena. The new arena was roughly a mile or so away from Reunion Arena, and essentially moved to a different part of downtown. Public funds went into the building, but the situation doesn’t fit the usual template.

  • Hockeyfan6778

    I don’t have allot of knowledge in the business sector but to say that the city shouldn’t have to help fund the arena because it doesn’t benifit the city seems like crap.

    1. For flames games plus all the other events that play there you have people from outside of Calgary spending money in Calgary boosting the economy. They may also be going to the restaurants and staying at the hotels for these events.

    2. You have calgarians attending keeping that money within the city.

    • dontcryWOLF

      That’s true for so many businesses. Yet, they pay for their own infrastructure. Hotels, restaurants, ski resorts, etc. Speaking of ski resorts, Murray Edwards owns many around Alberta. Should tax payers have funded the construction of all those as well?

      As I see it, the only difference is that people have an emotional attachment to sports teams and so they forget that they are cheering for a corporation.

      I’ve cheered for the flames my whole life, and that’s not going to stop. However, being an adult, I can see what the flames really are.

      • Newbietwo

        No you don’t see because you aren’t informed.. if you were informed I thought would be impossible for you to have responded like you did..

        The Flames annual revenues are $120 million a year.. not a billion not $500 million but a measily $120 million.. Salary costs alone are $70 plus million.. the Flames regular season make about $5 million profit and in play offs that basically doubles and a bit more..

        No bank in the world would finance lend this amount to the Flames and if they did I think would bankrupt the flames period and end of story.. the loan payments alone would cost $30 million a year which is half the salary cap! The Flames would have to double ticket prices to make that work and it still would break even..

        Like I said get informed and understand business finance and economics please

        • dontcryWOLF

          Those are unbelievably patronizing remarks. As per your usual.

          I’ll say, In light of this personal attack, that I own an excavation business, which requires high upfront investment. My margins have never exceeded 5%, and usually are less than 2%. Yet, I make it work. No government money needed. I do write off some expenses but have never received direct investment from the government.

          Don’t tell me the flames couldn’t make this work without taxpayer help.

          • Newbietwo

            I will tell you right now the Flames cannot make it work financing it themselves period.. and my career has been in finance..

            Ticket sales bring in $54 million a year.. yet a loan payment would be about $30 million a year and you want to tell me their debt ratios can hold that? Hahaha
            They could if they doubled ticket prices but that would mean fewer people benefit or actually buy tickets

            Now take Toronto with four times the population a billion dollar business yes they can afford to build their own arenas

          • Hockeyfan6778

            Umm I wasn’t replying to you. I thought actually you made very good remarks. And still admit that even though you are now being arrogant. I was actually responding to newbie who Told me too get informed before commenting. When my comment was me trying to get informed and understand.

            Unfortunately we all have different lines of work and are knowledgeable in different subjects. This is not my subject of expertise so that’s why I said my point of view in search of more understanding.

          • Off the wall

            I’m sure you believe everything you say Newbie, but this is a forum, where we should be able to express our opinions.Without being ostracized. Or made to feel stupid.

            You are just being arrogant and condescending which no one appreciates.

            Maybe they should have taught you that in Finance.

          • Newbietwo

            Then do the research or ask questions.. just because some politician spins you a line of “tax payer money” does not mean e is right.

            As a matter of fact the mere fact that Nenshi chose to spin this should actually tell you a lot more about him and his inability to be fully honest with the public or real for that matter.. instead he want to compare sizes

        • KKisTHEproblem

          Forbes estimate is US$18 mil op income, which would support much higher payments than your suggested $5 mil. Where do you get that number? Further, you say owning the arena is a benefit to the city. That’s a crock. It means they need to upkeep it for 20 to 30 years, then it is worth nothing at the end: you can’t sell it, just like the saddledome. It is NOT a benefit to own it. If it was, and the flames were putting up significant funds toward it, they would want the ownership but they don’t. If the Flames owners put up $250 mil and there was a ticket tax of $10 on any ticket above $50 and $5 on any ticket below $50, there would be enough to build an arena in Vic Park. Ticket tax: flames games: $10X20,000 seats X 41 games/year X 20 years= $164,000,000 over 20 years. Add roughnecks and hitmen at $5 per game would raise around $1.5 mil/annually another $30 mil. Add concerts at $10 X 15,000 fans X 30 concerts X 20 years and you have another $90 mil. All told, between Flames ownership and ticket tax, that’s $534 Mil. City/Stampede throws in the land: done. Now we have user pay in place as it should be. One last note Mr Finance: The Flames value as a franchise has increased from the original purchase price of $16 mil in 1980 (don’t know what current owners paid) and the flames are now worth $410 Mil. Pretty nice ROI. They are NOT as poor as you make them sound….. My last rant: Murray Edwards appeared onstage with rachel Notley as one of the 4 major oil companies to endorse the 100 megaton cap on oil sands emissions to the detriment of the rest of Alberta oil companies and the jobs that go with those. he does that then leaves for Engkand: F__K him

          • Newbietwo

            Your comments speak for itself on how you just don’t get it.. yes the value of the team increased so what? Value is worthless unless they sell it because based on their revenues they cannot finance the new stadium by themselves.. as for the $5 million.. I was referring to retained earnings! What mr Edwards actually gets himself at the end of the year for owning the damn flames.. stop trying to attack and look at the facts and don’t take your personal circumstance to be all encompassing

  • Newbietwo

    Let me be clear however.. I am not on the mayors side on this period.. I do however will say the flames leadership have been absolute idiots over this.. not now but the mere fact they waited till 2015.. the mere fact they didn’t pitch it 9 years ago with a favourable mayor and a strong economy and when an arena would have cost half it does now..

    • Flames fan since 83

      Newbie, Quick question.
      Does the City need to put a plan in place to replace this arena every 30 years? I know its been closer to 37 years, but you suggest were 9 years late on this. And if so, do you believe this should be recovered thru rent or anything. Or should Cities expense this as cost of having a successfull city? I’m wondering your perspective from being in the Finance point of view?

      • Newbietwo

        Good questions

        I will try to provide a high level response combining both the value of the Flames and the arena itself.. I have not done a business case on this so these would be assumed and rough estimate numbers

        1. Should the city have a plan in place every 30 years for a new arena.

        NO! In a market like Calgary its critical both the city and the team works together on all matter and that includes succession planning on any facilities.. Why? Because cities build out on long term development plans year in advance.. if I were the flames I would have started this process at year 25 of the building in order to gain agreement and actually have the building in place by year 30! Think of it as in the progression of your own life and how things drastically change.. think of what cars were like when you were a child and what they are like now?! Succession planning is critical to any business model and frankly the lack there off is the reason this city is now behind the 8 ball because we primailiry relied on one industry to drive our growth and every recession has been counter productive..

        2. What is the flames worth to the city and its citizens..

        Nothing binds us more than the flames it’s engrained in our culture virtually.. The flames are $120 million revenue company a year but they are in the entertainment business.. Federally the government likely gets about $12 million a year in tax revenues and the province likely $8 or so million.. that’s on earnings..

        Then you had player taxes which is essentially 42 percent so let’s go roughly $30 million in taxes on $70 million with roughly $14 million going directly to the province itself.. so we are now at $22 million a year for the province and city

        Let’s then add the revenue generated via hotels, restaurants, entertainment and venues like concerts. First the flames have 41 regular season games so you have teams coming here 41 times staying in hotels eating and living.. the saddle some also hosts roughly 2 million people a year and its fair to say that easily 300 000 are out of town coming in for games or concerts or corporate events.. times that by a hotel stay and a meal so make it an even $200 per person that’s $60 million

        So now we are at $82 million a year.. so let’s roughly add another $40 million in restaurants revenues and bars for beers wings etc.. Now we are at $122 million a year in worth to the city a year and that is being very conservative..

        We can then add the $20 plus million a year the flames raise in charity likely and its adding up folks.. honestly with actual numbers I would say the flames easily bring $400 million to the city a year

        • KKisTHEproblem

          All the economic studies around arenas state that the they draw money away from other entertainment businesses. You cannot use what is spent by locals as adding to the net economic benefit to the city: those dollars would be spent at other venues which would pay their own taxes and pay their own employees. They most certainly do not “bring in $400 million in new money”. Your argument does work for the attraction of people from out of town but I believe you overestimate the amount of people that come in from out of town. I would be greatly surprised if it was 300,000 people.
          You also say in previous posts that they only earn $5 mil/year on $120 mil in revenue. How can earn $5 mil turn into $12 mil for the feds and $8 mil for the province on earnings? That makes zero sense.
          See my post a little above, would like to hear thoughts on my proposal of $250 mil from owners and a ticket tax to fund an arena: user pay.

          • Newbietwo

            Look your arguments hold water in cities like Toronto or Vancouver or Los Angelas but not in the case of Calgary where hockey is the main draw in a significant way.. and if you think 300k plus people do not come into the city for concerts or hockey and corporate events think again.. you forget how many come in just from towns like Lethbridge, Canmore and Red Deer alone

        • BurningSensation

          Now you sound like the guys who pitched the arena to Glendale.

          Fact: Every study conducted on using public money to build an arena has concluded that there is no net benefit to the city for doing so. They are not money makers. Ever.

          Ask St Louis (who ponied up the cash, and watched the team walk away anyway). Or Glendale. Or Ottawa. Or any of the others that were opened in the last 50 years using public funds. It’s corporate welfare by extortion.

          ‘Pay us or the team moves somewhere else’

          The good news is that Calgary runs a fiscally responsible ship, by law they can’t run deficits, and public spending is scrutinized closely. Factor In a strong mayor and city council, and this looks more like a negotiation tactic to aquire leverage more than a serious threat to move the team. The team is owned by billionaires, and the Calgary market is one of the best in the league. If they could make more money elsewhere, they would have already moved the team long ago.

          Call their bluff.

        • Flames fan since 83

          Cheers. Thanks for spending time and effort.
          Much appreciated.
          Do you think with your numbers above, that the City/province can justify replacing the Arena every 25 years because of the Return of having the Flames here?

          • Newbietwo

            I absolutely do think so yes but this shouldn’t be an every 25 year thing.. it only is because there was no succession plan in place both the city and the Flames for years have failed on this..

            You also forget the evolution a new stadium brings.. with a new stadium the flames could double there profits and thus next time around it makes it more feasible for less public investment

          • Flames fan since 83

            Last question:
            Rent question. Above the obvious costs like utilities, property tax, all costs of maintenence that the Flames pay for. Should the city be charging a rent over and above these costs? I would have thought this is where some money is recouped to put forward to building replacement and cost of borrowing?
            Or are you suggesting that the Flames are rent free and only look after expense of maintaining the property.

        • Watts Mitel

          Do your revenue numbers include naming rights? Toronto is getting $800 million over 20 years from ScotiaBank. Sure Calgary won’t get that but $15-$20 million a year is possible.

  • nikkomsgb

    The lowest common denominator is that the vast majority of those privately financed arenas are in huge metropolitan centers with second major tenants (NBA). The outliers are Ottawa, which was a disaster and built in a farm field, and Winnipeg which was a much lower cost and scaled down arena for AHL.

    I would love for the Flames to pay for it, but it isn’t going to happen. They would get soaked in the end.

    • Squishin

      The city is not asking the Flames to pay for it though. They offered to front the money for a third of it. Another third goes to the ticket buyers in a surcharge. The Flames would have to pay a third of the cost. Being one of the higher-earning franchises in the city, the Flames can pay for this.

  • BurningSensation

    This is all straight from the greedy billionaire’s handbook; get the public to pay for your infrastructure and give them back…nothing. We saw this plain as day in the Calgary Next proposal, the city gives them land, the province and city pay to clean it up, the city pays to build the arena, the city pays to build a fieldhouse, the city pays to run, operate, repair, and own the arena, and for this the team kicks in $, but only in the form of a ticket surcharge, and collects all the revenue.

    It’s a hostage taking, pure and simple, and the owners are betting voters will vote with their love of the Flames over fiscal responsibility.

    The history of arenas built with public money is clear, they are losers for the people of the city who pay for them. Always.

    What amuses me no end is that Nenshi (a supposed ‘lefty’) is holding the line on giving away public money, while Murray/King et al are counting on (supposedly conservative) Tory voters to hand them corporate welfare cash. It’s almost like the labels of left and right don’t mean anything anymore.

    • Justthateasy

      All true but Nenshi can spend money on every other harebrained idea under the sun.
      The bridge is almost forgotten but now we have all these ridiculous bike lanes, extra concrete poured on top of asphalt and traffic being generally choked off in this city. 10th Street northbound in rush hour is lined up from Northmount Drive to Confederation Park because it is now single file. And now the right-hand turn approach to Northmount Drive is taken out and replaced with grass and concrete. Useless taxpayer-funded Road Art.
      Expensive new library downtown that will be accessed mostly by street people.
      A most ridiculous monument called Country Music Hall of Fame.
      LRT Line going out to the industrial area instead of to the airport. (Currently only approved as far as 16th Avenue).
      What grates my ass is that he’s trying to appear fiscally responsible while throwing taxpayer money in every other direction.
      I am done with this city council and with this mayor.
      Imbeciles spending other people’s money!

      • Avalain

        Ok, why am I seeing people blaming Nenshi for the Peace bridge over and over? He was elected the year after the bridge was completed. How is that his fault?

        And what do you have against street people? How dare anyone do anything for people who are desperate and need help? I use that library once in a while, does that make me homeless?

        And how can you talk about imbeciles spending other people’s money when you are trying to defend people spending other people’s money?

      • Derzie

        This city has been poorly run for decades. Current council is just another example. The next one will be too. This article isn’t about dumb government and greedy owners. Those are absolute truths. It’s about the owners pushing their agenda too hard and ruining any chance of resolution.

  • buts

    What is Nenshi’s plan for the creosote that’s leaking into the Bow? He will probably call for another study to review the costs while building more bike lanes and installing stupid art…If he gets voted back in the flames are gone I believe.

  • Chillout

    ummm I don’t think the arena would be owned by the Calgary Flames….wouldn’t it be Calgary Sports and Entertainment or whatever it is called? Also why would you only count the revenue generated by only 41 events? They could probably book another 200 events pretty easily if they wanted. So in reality there would be a lot more money generated by the facility and a lot more money brought into the city depending on what kinds of events went in there. So I think your argument is not even close to looking at the big picture. Which if you are a finance guy is a little disconcerting and hopefully you don’t work for a company I own shares in.
    All those events do make an argument for the city to pitch in dollars for something like this and even be owners of the facility. I think until we see a real rundown of expected revenues and cost benefit analysis for the city we can’t be jumping down people’s throats.

    • Newbietwo

      I was just throwing a few examples out there on the amount of events etc to make my point.. as for who owns the stadium as a matter of fact West Village the city of Calgary would have owned the stadiums and the Flames would have been the tenant at a cost after maintenance

      • Chillout

        the comments I read you were saying the Calgary Flames could not afford the building because revenue and debt servicing. I was saying there was a lot more revenue available. I was also clarifying that the flames would not own the building in YOUR scenario. Their parent company would. The west village proposal was only the Calgary sport and Entertainment proposal which the city rejected almost immediately so as a matter of fact the city would not have owned the stadiums.

      • KKisTHEproblem

        I don’t know why but I am not getting a reply button on your posts relying to mine. So am replying here to your comments about my funding proposal above where according to you: I have demonstrated that I just don’t get it. But you did not comment on my proposed funding model of $250 mil flames owners, and approximately $300 mil from a ticket tax and the city/stampede throw the land in. Again, $550 mil in funding plus land. Rogers cost $480 mil. Can we not build an arena for that? And why are you so against user pay? I am going to guess, and correct me if I’ m wrong, but as a finance guy, you are likely a conservative (not party but philosophy as am I). Giving public money to private business goes against everything I believe in. I rail against handouts to Bombardier etc. Why is this any different?

        • Newbietwo

          I started my career and education background in finance.. I don’t work in finance I buy and develop resorts on exotic lands as a business..

          I agree with your set proposal if that was the ultimate goal but I have asked myself what exactly to CSE want..

          1. All the owners are older and they want a legacy attachment to the new building

          2. This is the most important factor and I happy to agree with them.. they do not just want a hockey stadium.. they want a hockey and football stadium all hosting st same location as it addresses the cities needs and it is a smart cost cutting move for them long term..

          3. Seeing as they do not and have not offered to hold ownership of any of the facilities other than being a rent paying tenant and giving $250 million their vision and wants should matter

  • Flaymin Frank

    Interesting how every Canadian franchise built arenas with no public funding. Except Calgary & Edmonton. Alberta, the oil rich ( was) prosperous province has the tax payer on the hook for these ventures. Is there some irony in that or is it just me?

      • BurningSensation

        No, its about the ability to strong arm weak city council’s into giving away cash by threatening to leave the city for greener pastures.

        Except in this case, there literally is no greener pasture. Calgary is one of the healthiest markets (huge fan base, low taxes, high revenue streams, etc.) in the league, and there are no alternatives available that would make any sense at all to move to. If the Flames left a team would be moving here the next day.

        This is all Ken King and Edwards attempting to extort cash from Calgarians for their own gain.

      • Flaymin Frank

        At the end of the day when the angst, angered, and handwringing simmers down, the tax payers should have a voice in the decision since it involves their money. I’m a Flames fan but Calgary is a long ways away from me.

  • PVR Everything

    It would be interesting to see the correlation between financial success of a building (and area around), and if the building was public or private. My thought is by looking through this list, a privately funded building has a better chance of improving value around it, then a publicly funded building. A city may be convinced to have the funds now to build, but they do not have the resources, to continue to put money in the area forever. A private corporation putting money into the building and the land around, will have much more success, as it is their investment and they are looking at the Return on the Investment. I really think the Flames owners can make more money if they buy the land around the building and build themselves. I think Columbus should be the model. It was private money. It isn’t an exact comparison but look at Gillette Stadium and Patriots place in Boston. Look at Dallas. I think CSE should follow those models, maybe not on the same scale but the same model.

      • BurningSensation

        Of course the Flames ownership group has the $ to build their own arena, they are billionaire’s with a ‘B’.

        This is nothing more than an extortion of the public purse for private benefit.

      • PVR Everything

        I agree the Flames can’t build it. But can the ownership group? You are telling me that the ownership group isn’t able to raise the private capital for this project?

        • Newbietwo

          Would you if you were them?

          Business is business and it needs to be profitable.. they already offered $250 million of their own money “yes the flames do not have $250 million cash sitting in a bank”

          • Purple Hazze

            Bankrupt the Flames hahaha your comments are ridiculous. Vegas, Columbus, Montreal, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Winnipeg, and Vancouver all have privately funded arenas without a second major tenant like an NBA team; none of them are bankrupt. The new Seattle arena is also going to be privately funded. How do they pay for it? They host other major events all year long besides hockey, and the Flames would do the same with their new arena.

            Also, the flames never offered $250MM of their own cash. Their offer was the city borrow that $250MM but the Flames would repay it over 25 years in the form of lease payments to the city. This is dubious for two reasons: first it makes the city the owner of the arena so they can’t collect property tax on it, secondly at the end of the life of the arena the city is stuck with a worthless asset.

            The city has never said they won’t help fund a new arena, numerous times they have said they are willing to work on deal that makes sense for tax payers. The Flames want to have their cake and eat it too.

          • PVR Everything

            Depends on the Return on Investment. So what is CSE seeing in the ROI that we don’t and they need public money for it? Do they really believe that the dollar amount they are asking from the public, is equal to the value the public receives from it? It would be interesting to see how they really see this breakdown. (and not the numbers they give the public)

      • dontcryWOLF

        That is not a fact. Edwards is a crafty man. He has developed ski resorts and major oil sands projects. Both require substantial upfront investment. These things can be done without public money. Every other industry does it.

  • Off the wall

    We are so close to the beginning of our hockey season. Nothing could be worse right now than discussion on who’s right or wrong in the case of a new building for the Flames.
    Both parties share the blame.

    I don’t live in Calgary, however I’m a Flames fan forever. I’ve read the first proposal, it wasn’t viable.

    This issue isn’t going to go away, it reeks of political agendas on both sides and divides the City.

    Of course there has to be some incentive to get a new arena in place. 17 of the 31 teams used some measure of publicly funded money to get the deals done.

    It can be done without great cost to taxpayers if they were (owners- council) collaborating together. Not the case here.

    It’s election time and who would be surprised that Ken King makes this announcement, knowing full well that the passionate ( sometimes divided) great people of Calgary are going to use this platform for making their decisions about a future mayor and council.

    It’s sad that politics ruins potential economic relationships.

    This matter will be resolved after election.
    Be kind to one another FN, we all have our views and they should be respected, no need to be quarrelsome. Stay classy Calgary!

  • Toofun

    I was wondering what the usual funding model looked like and it seems like the Flame’s ownership is looking for a handout that not all that many other groups have been given.

    I don’t buy the idea that “since Calgary spends money on other dumb projects, they should spend it here too”.

    The argument that “Edmonton got it so we should too” is much more compelling but at the end of the day I guess I can’t really accept that either.

    Then there is the commercial argument that “we need a team so we’ll build an arena to get one”. Well we have a team and an (old but serviceable) arena, so that doesn’t really fit.

    So I guess I have to blame both sides on this and the apparently inflated egos that keep them from working towards a win/win solution. Does this surprise anybody?

  • buts

    Where is the stampede board in all of this? What happened to the master Victoria park plan that was to be unveiled? Where is the university in this as it regards to there stadium that’s falling apart? What about a fieldhouse that is supposedly #1 on the cities to do agenda? Can a FN writer do an article on how much the Calgary entertainment sports group contributes to the fed, prov. and munincipal tax pool annually as well as what spinoff revenues the group brings in annually. I know of fans that come from out of town to watch there fav team and dump a lot of money into hotels, restaurants and souveniors etc.

  • Justthateasy

    There ya go. Calgary’s downtown is not sketchy.
    Having just returned from the Labor Day rematch in Edmonton, I can see why that downtown needs revitalizing if you call that downtown, 97th Street etc.

  • Iggynostic

    What about all the non-Flames fans in Calgary?

    In 2010 only 219,800 tuned in to Flames games on average (see Keller’s report – The New Economics of the NHL). Even if we assume that fan numbers have increased to 300,000, current Flames fans would only make up 24.2% of Calgary’s population.

    In short, is it fair to ask 75% of Calgarians to pay towards keeping a team that they may not even support?

    • Chillout

      Well if you like concerts, or monster trucks, or Olympics, or any number of other events they can put on in a stadium like this then it is something to think about. Hockey is only 41 nights plus a few preseason games. That’s around 12% of the entire year. So this is not just a hockey facility. Some arenas in the states are booked over 300 nights a year. something to think about since everyone is so focused on this “hockey” arena when it will be used far more by other events.

      • Iggynostic

        That’s fair – but if your concern is simply community vibrancy then expanding the city’s entertainment offerings does not necessarily need to involve the Flames. The city can build a new building and keep the revenues on its own.

        All this is to say that we should be mindful as to how the city responds to the needs of all citizens as opposed to a relatively small subset (fans). As much as I hate to say it, the Flames arguably are not, and should not be, the city’s main priority.

    • Newbietwo

      Off the wall.. this isn’t about personal attacks I don’t know you from a hole in the wall..

      This is however a very big matter and it irritates me just how little people actually know about the facts yet all have formed opinions on what they don’t know..

      But the fact you can see something emotionally in a comment I won’t ever understand as you have no idea what my tone is it’s just words

    • OYYC

      It is the flavour of the day unfortunately, and it will continue for a little while. Ryan Pike and co. deserve credit for the amount of work that’s gone into 3 arena articles in the past 17 hours. I’m not being sarcastic, that’s a lot of research and words to pull together in a short turnaround time.

  • Peter in Edmonton

    Having watched the debate in Edmonton over the last decade and the eventual success of Rogers Place I think that Calgary is missing some key elements to building @ $750 million dollar arena – Scotiabank just paid $800 million to name the ACC in Toronto next year with their corporate name and Rogers paid the Oilers $700 million for the naming and broadcast rights – so you are looking at potentially $400 + million for naming and sponsorship rights – $300 million for ticket tax over 25 years – pouring / food sponsorship to Aarmark for another $50 million – seat license for 3/4 of the arena can bring in another $100 million – and the arena is 100% paid for with the Flames kicking in another $200 million and the city fronting the loan to build it along with the land – this does not require a dime of tax payer money and the fans that attend the games and concerts pay the freight … Why is this so complicated when the model is being used with every new arena in North America