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Flames Mixed Messages on Moving

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Photo: Lyle Aspinall/Postmedia Network

In April, Calgary Flames Chief Executive Officer Ken King expressed unhappiness with local elected officials and their decision to refuse to help fund the Calgary Next project which among other things would have seen a Flames arena and a Stampeders football stadium built. King claimed he never threatened to move his team without a new building. But Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke said that the team will be gone without a new building and even suggested a possible landing spot, Quebec City. King immediately contradicted Burke saying Burke is not the organization’s arena negotiating mouthpiece. But there must be some feeling within the Flames organization that a new arena needs to be built soon.

Two months ago, King said. “There would be no threat to move, we would just move, and it would be over. And I’m trying my level best to make sure that day never comes, frankly.” But King did threaten to move the hockey team and a few days later, there was a different message on the Flames website.  “In response to a question, are you going to use the threat of moving as a tactic, I said we would not. I also said we would “just move.” The facts are we need a solution and if it is deemed that there is no made in Calgary solution we will have to make a decision at that time, which logically could include deciding to move the team. It is merely one out of a few possible outcomes if we are unable to reach a deal with the City that will work for both sides.” King was merely laying out options. Burke brought up Quebec City. Seattle may renovate the 55-year-old city arena. That could start a bidding war which would benefit King and the Flames owners. That’s how Calgary got the Atlanta Flames in 1980.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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