Flames exec Brian Burke makes pitch for new arena
Saddledome not doing the job anymore, Burke tells Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Brian Burke, president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames, says the Saddledome is not generating the kind of revenue that most NHL arenas do and needs to be replaced.
Burke told the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Thursday that the 6,000 seats in the Saddledome's lower bowl are not up to future NHL standards.
"A building has to do two things. It has to generate NHL economics which our building does not. Lower bowl in a new arena, the new generation of arenas, is 9,000 seats minimum."
Burke said the Saddledome was state-of-the-art when it was built in 1983 but is now too old for some concerts and other events.
He told the audience the city would benefit as well, as a new arena would revitalize the downtown.
"It's not just what a hockey team gets and what it adds for a hockey team. It's what it does to a downtown core and we need a new building in Calgary. There's absolutely no reason we should watch a new building going up in Edmonton and we've got to play in a 1988 building here."
Burke gave no estimate on when a new arena could be built.