By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
July 5, 2013
Massive flooding in Calgary has caused significant damage to the Scotiabank Saddledome, home of the NHL Flames. Flood waters reportedly reached as high as the fourteenth row of the event level, causing dressing rooms, the video control room, hockey equipment, and Zambonis to be destroyed. 30 million gallons of water had to be pumped from the arena.
The Flames don’t yet know how much the damage will cost to repair, but it’s going to be in the millions, and there are concerns repair work might not be completed by the start of the NHL season. If there’s any silver lining to the damage, it’s that it gives the Flames a chance to revisit an arena plan that was derailed by this season’s NHL lockout. The Flames are interested in building a $500-600 million arena to replace the 30-year old Saddledome. Given the extensive damage to the city-owned building, and the fact the Flames’ lease expires next year, now’s a prime opportunity for the team to seek public money for a new arena.