Tying the CalgaryNEXT arena and fieldhouse proposal to a possible bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics will be a gamble for the Calgary Flames organization, said members of a CBC Calgary News at 6 political panel.
Wrapping an NHL arena inside an Olympic bid is the same strategy used to get public money to build the Saddledome. The NHL team in Calgary did not pay one cent towards the construction of the Saddledome, nor does it pay rent or leasing cost. And the City does not tax the Saddledome because the City owns it!
No to tax payers dollars for an NHL arena. For the Flames, you play, you pay.
CBC News has been given a look at the CalgaryNext briefing books given to city council members. They reveal the precise detail of the Flames’ owners plans for new sports facilities for professional athletes and Calgarians. They also show the 2026 winter Olympics are part of the plan.
Was there ever any doubt. Connecting a new new NHL hockey arena with an Olympic bid is the same tactic used in 1988 – bid for the Olympics and oh, by the way, we can use the Olympic arena for an NHL arena.
And those Olympics cost tax payers. The ONLY reason the ’88 Olympics didn’t “lose” money is because governments threw in millions of dollars.
City councillors in Calgary voted 12-2 late Monday in favour of spending up to $5 million to support a plan from the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority to spend 14 months exploring a bid for the 2026 Olympic Games. A day after council took the first step toward bringing the Winter Games back to Calgary, Postmedia reporter Annalise Klingbeil…
This is the same approach used to get an NHL hockey rink for the Flames. The Olympics required a large ice surface, so a new arena “just had to be built”. It was just “coincidental” that the rink could be used for an NHL franchise.
This rational might have been okay, but the only way the 88 Olympics worked was if the city, provincial, and federal governments threw in money. In other words, the Olympics were money losers until tax payer money was used. This is the reason some major cities have refused to host the Games, and why Calgary should as well.