The Flames can have our old arena

With news breaking that Ken King and the Flames have decided to stop working with the City of Calgary on a new arena, I thought that it would be the neighbourly thing to do to offer them our old one.

With the Saddledome being old and busted, and your division rivals getting a brand new arena to go along with their Connor McDavid, it’s understandable that some Flames fans are feeling a little bit salty with this announcement. Because we’re kind people, I want to give the Calgary Flames a chance at rebuilding their public image by taking advantage of the good vibes that are going on in Edmonton. Playing at Rexall Place could help you do that. Playing at the arena that housed the Oilers through some of the darkest days in franchise history will help you keep perspective on how to be bad at hockey, toy with the fans, and still getting what you want.

If you can learn anything from the Oilers, and let’s face it you can learn a lot about how to get a new arena, it’s that you have to have a backup plan. For the Oilers, Seattle was their “backup plan.” Just think of how ballsy it would be if you told the Calgary City Council that you’re moving the team to Edmonton because we know how to get new arenas done. Think of the swagger you would have in your step as you walked out of the council chamber. That’s the kind of balls that you only read about, my friends. And since we’re good neighbours, and embarrassing you during the Battle of Alberta is important to us, we’re offering up some space in the old unit to give you guys a bit more time to figure things out.

Admittedly, if you guys move up here there are going to be some problems that we’ll have to work out, but I think we can ultimately get this done. I’ll get us started.

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Simple house rules…

  1. First rule. Don’t look at Connor or even think about Connor. I’m no scientist that can prove that visual illness transmission is actually a thing but I can’t prove that it’s not a thing either. Connor McDavid is off limits. Full stop. Case closed.
  2. Re-read rule number one.
  3. We’re going to need to figure out what the hell to do with your fans. I mean, there are Flames fans that live in Edmonton but certainly not enough to fill Rexall Place. Frankly, I’m surprised there are enough combined Flames fans to fill Saddledome but that’s another story. My temporary solution is that we build tent cities on the outskirts of town so that Flames fans will have a place to live that is within a short (monitored!) bus ride away from civilization. You know where the Oil Derrick is on QE2? Think south of that. Not quite Red Deer, but somewhere far enough to be downwind and out of mind. Somewhere around there would work.
  4. If we’re all going to play in the same city this often then we’re going to have to set some ground rules on personal space. You can have everything within a stone’s throw of Rexall Place except for the Burger Baron that I used to eat at before games. The rest is ours. As I write this, I can almost taste that mouth watering mushroom swiss burger with reasonably priced parking as garnish. I cherish those moments and you’re not invited to enjoy any of it.
  5. You can look at our new arena, buy tickets for events, drive past it at your leisure, and gamble in the casino but you’re not allowed to set foot anywhere else in Rogers Place unless you have a scheduled game against the Oilers. You can find practice time at West Edmonton Mall or any other space you can find provided that it does not interfere with Edmonton Minor Hockey of any kind. You’ll also have to work around the fine citizens that are playing beer league. They have a hard enough time finding ice slots and I’ll be damned if your rich asses are going to take it from the heroes that take late ice slots on a Tuesday night.
  6. The Flames players can stay at either the Coliseum Inn or take their chances on the streets. If you’re going to hang out then you’re going to need to support the local economy. You can visit West Edmonton Mall on your birthday but note that the Fantasyland Hotel only has so many theme rooms and the right to refuse you service.
  7. Yes, the bat on 97th street does spin all the way around, and feel free to give that bad boy a push from time to time, but please don’t loiter. NAIT isn’t all that far from there and there could be impressionable youth that gets rattled by the sight of you.
  8. By no means are you allowed to wear your horrible jerseys or merch in public. It’s bad enough that we’re going to have a bunch of your fans living several dozen kilometres outside of our city in a tent town. We don’t need those horrible red unis polluting our vision too.

And hey, with any luck, a couple years of being terrible at hockey at Rexall Place will be more than enough time for you guys to find a new place to play in a city that will temporarily want you. I mean, you didn’t think we would want you to stay here forever, did you? This was like when parents let their kids move back home while they try to figure things out. You can’t stay forever, but you can certainly hang out and learn a few things in terms of selling the city on giving you public money.

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Since I should probably have a point for wasting this much of your time, I have to say that this news out of Calgary feels like a movie that we’ve all seen before. Right now, Flames fans are angry that their ownership group is dropping threats that the team could move without an arena and who can blame them? Billionaires threatening to move hockey franchises like a kid taking his ball away is nothing but a straight shot to the nuts for the fans. It’s annoying that guys with this much cake in the fridge can’t pony up the dough on their own and do whatever it takes to build a new arena, but that’s not how they got rich. Sure, they could spend the money themselves but why would they do that when there’s a chance the city will pay for it?

Our boy pulled the same stunt back in 2012 when he was spotted in Seattle with members of the current management team in tow. Five days later, Katz put out a full page apologies in the Journal and Sun to Oilers fans for a move that he didn’t think would make us all as mad as it did. My point is that this looks a lot like the public posturing that happened in Edmonton and the fact that it’s happening before an election makes the play more obvious. From where I blog, it seems odd that the NHL would have no issues with a team that earns as much revenue as the Calgary Flames do to just up and leave without a fight to keep them there. Even if they DID move, how long would be until someone relocated a broke ass team to Calgary?*

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As of right now, I guess I just have a hard time buying what the Flames are selling considering we’ve lived through this type of play ourselves. As much as it’s fun to make fun of Flames fans right we all know that the BOA is one of the best rivalries in hockey and losing out on that would be a waste. All of this public noise is already a waste. What will be interesting now is to see how the Flames react to the fallout. Right now, Twitter is angry and there are many reasons as to why, but all I can think about is when Ken King’s apology is going to hit the newspapers.

*which would be hilarious

  • deferoiler

    Having been through all this before I kind of feel for the city of Calagry. Last thing I want is to lose this great rivalry. If its not the best in hockey its certinaly up near the top. That being said if Calgarys city concil thinks this isnt going to come out of their own taxpaying dollars they are dead wrong and stubborn as hell and frankly deserve to lose the team

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      they’re insecure down there, always slagging us or saying that they are just as good if not better than we are up here. funny how i don’t hear much from us about them. they are insecure down there !

      • Hockeyfan6778

        Lol you should see the fn articles. Full of oilers troll who are insecure proclaiming how Calgary is the worst and all their players suck. And being 26-48 post lockout I wouldn’t say is beating up on the flames.

        But in all honesty I do hope for this rivalry to get intense again as both teams are good. Maybe have some heated playoff series.

        • Mc?

          Just as many flames trolls over here. And your biggest ‘troll’ is actually a flames fan ‘raffydog’ but you guys bash him because he doesnt share your guys rose colored optimism aboit everything flames realated

          • Hockeyfan6778

            Lol so much wrong in that statement. To say raffy is actually a fan is delusional. Like every other fan base we are optimistic about our team. Well just like how you guys are. He just days every one will suck Andrew the flames suck. Not really a fan.

            It’s crazy how oilers have one good season after tying the worst playoff drought in NHL history and now alot oilers fans are cocky and annoying almost like canuck fans. Bandwagon jumping will do that.

          • Space Pants

            LMAO…okay Hockeyfan. You must be too young and dumb to remember. The Flames missed the playoffs for 7 years in a row with Iginla on the team before they finally made the playoffs, only to be defeated in the cup final by a guy they let walk for free. Empty building the whole time.

            We NEVER jumped off the bandwagon. The building was full and we still watched every single crap ass Oiler game. That’s the difference. Flames struggle, they’re puss fans bail.

          • Ol_OneNut

            I went and saw a BOA in the saddledome in the early 2000s and there were more oil fans than flames fans. The oil won and the flames got na na na nad in there own barn. It was awesome!

  • Bills Bills

    They can’t have the coliseum. That would be sacrilegious to all the great Oiler teams that played there. Besides, if an NHL team is going to play there, they have to at least be capable of bringing Stanley back to it.

  • BlueHairedApe

    I’m not finding too much enjoyment in this. As an Oilers fan and watching Katz & Co pull some of the same stunts I have to say these guys in Calgary are on a different scale altogether. They are demanding over 1.2 billion dollars from the taxpayer to build an arena…plus another racetrack or something insignificant…in an area of the city where it wouldn’t be practical for anyone or have any residual benefits to the city whatsoever. They also haven’t put forth any ideas or seriously committed any investment to the surrounding area to maybe try and get a few people living or wandering around this place when hockey isn’t being played. You would think these clowns at the very least would try to sell some of the benefits to the taxpayers who aren’t hockey fans before demanding over a billion dollars from them sheesh

  • Chris Prongers Rake

    Nothing but posturing by King…I cant stand the Flames but there not going anywhere….unfortunately. If Bettman let the Flames leave after doing anything to ensure the Coyotes survived he should never be allowed in Canada.

    • JumboJim

      Hoping that’s a typo, Rake, and that you meant that the Flames aren’t going anywhere *fortunately*. As an Oilers fan, I’m looking forward to a renewed BoA, especially now that Calgary has their little brother act back, picking up players the Oilers have had passing interest in and, just like the 80s, are building a strong but uninspiring defensive team to match our offensive juggernaut. We even gifted the second best team of the 80s their only Stanley Cup.

      I, for one, genuinely hope that the Flames come through this in Calgary and that their new arena is shaped like a cowboy boot

  • OilCan2

    Was that ever a waste of pixels. Vancouver has one just like ours for rent too. Hey; it’s even closer to Seattle so they can test the waters on that fanbase.

  • D

    baggedmilk – “The arena that housed the Oilers through some of the darkest days in franchise history” was also the arena that housed the Oilers through some of the greatest days in franchise history. Just saying.

  • madjam

    Sounds like Calgary major has already stated he will build them a new arena in the Stampede grounds among other things – so why would Flames be bothered looking for a new area with that guarantee?

  • deferoiler

    Nenshi is going ahead with his own agenda trying to rack up votes for the coming election. The Flames Owners Organization is pissed that they didn’t get any development on their CalgaryNext Project and even more ticked that he has an arena / district revitalization proposal without their agreement; and much to their dissatisfaction (Not enough funding, not in the desired location). Truth be told Flames ownership wants nothing to do with Nenshi and are using the threat of leaving to swing the votes against him. If Nenshi is re-elected either ownership shows their bluff and agrees to his proposed plans, or…… the flames are screwed. Best case for the flames staying in Calgary is Nenshi is canned this fall and an arena deal that favors both sides is agreed on.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    I wonder how Seattle likes being used as a city someone is actually threatening to move a team to? One of these days one team actually might do it ! !

  • Seattle Flames, Alberta Oilers.

    Once the shock wears off, I’m sure Flames fans won’t mind cheering for their former enemy, the Edmonton Oilers.

    I find it interesting that a pro business province like Alberta needs tax payer money to fund their arenas. All other Canadian teams use private money.
    In Edmonton, a state of the art rink(not including bathrooms) surrounded by public space and multi use facilities are intended to revitalize a dead downtown core. I give credit to Daryl Katz for having a vision to create something, while lining his pockets. But this is what pro business means. Profit.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      This is how it’s done in big business….get others to pay. Why should billionaire owners have to pay it all out of pocket when they all know that they can threaten to move the team and have politicians cave?

  • ed from edmonton

    I don’t take much notice of Cowtown so I can’t claim much insight into how this might play out in the upcoming civic election. But…. I think King may be playing with fire. There has been an ongoing number of election in which the “elites” (or at least perceived elites) have been given a bloody nose by an outsider. The last provincial election, Brexit and Trump were all in effect the establishment being rejected. Nenshi as a liberal Muslim is very much not part of the Calgary elite and fits the mold of an outsider. If the mayoral election becomes the establishment Phlegms very the outsider Nenshi???

  • Roberto

    This whole thing actually annoys me (Not the article, that was gold), and I hate the Flames… Flames owners and Bettman are absolutely pathetic. It happened in Edmonton too, which was also pathetic (I guess at least the silver lining was downtown is way better now, so the taxpayers did get benefit out of their money). In a perfect World, I’d let the Flames walk, and not get supported in Seattle, go bankrupt and spend the rest of their days in shame. Meanwhile, since Calgary is an Obvious place for an NHL team, some other Billionaire can build an arena and bring a new team in. (You know Gary, and Owners, to a place that actually supports a team, unlike Arizona or the many other teams that don’t fill arenas….. Even Ottawa in Playoffs, maybe the City of Calgary should call Eugeine Melnyk and work out a deal with him, as a big screw you to the Flames Owners and Gary.) For the people of Calgary, you’d only have to be without the Flames for a couple dissapointing short seasons anyways, and you’d get a shiny new team that actually has Draft picks. All jokes aside, I’m angry about this as a hockey fan….. Gary, he’s an absolutely pathetic individual. Sure he’s good at his job as a hired dink mouthpiece for billionaire owners, but it must suck to be despised by basically everyone. GAry, you’re an absolute coward. Shame on you.

    • ed from edmonton

      I really don’t get the animosity toward Bettman. He is just supporting the guys who pay his salary. This situation is not so different from when Katz and co took their trip to Seattle. NHL will not turn away from a market that can sell put their building like Cowtown.

  • Roberto

    Gary Bettman just refuses to negotiate, ever. No Olympics, Cities pay for Arenas, the list goes on and on. If everyone was like him, nothing would ever get done. He’s just the worst type of person.

    • socaldave

      If you don’t think Bettman carries whatever tune the owners TELL HIM to, you need to go have a bit of a think. Same thing for the NFL – you REALLY think Goodell (or any north American sports commissioner, for that matter) does/says/even thinks anything other than what he’s (they’re) told?

      Don’t blame Bettman for this mess – blame the owners. All of them. ~encourages everyone to google “public stadium funding scam” and get ready to be depressed and angry~

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      it’s not all bad, at least the Lames call themselves contenders….just ask them ! you’ll be spared the pains of an expansion team like Vegas is going to suffer with and have a slightly better team to start with !

  • Connor's Girlfriend

    “It’s bad enough that we’re going to have a bunch of your fans living several dozen kilometres outside of our city in a tent town. ” I spit up my coffee on that one!! LOL. Thanks man!!!