Not that it’s going to stop us making jokes about the “Seattle Flames,” or “Quebec Flames,” but I really hope that this latest relocation drama ends up being anything resembling a line in the sand for this whole new arena/franchise relocation mishegas that really should be a crime. You hardly need me to tell you that cities building new arenas on the backs of taxpayers for the benefit of billionaires for no apparent result other than the enriching of the latter is one of many despicable aspects of modern government and society. But that list has gotten so long now I feel like it benefits from hiding behind the other ones.
A quick recap if you don’t pay attention to things in southern Alberta (or as my Vancouver-native friend referred to it, “Fucking cowshit smelling fucking hellhole): The Flames have been angling for a new building for a couple years now, trying to replace the now 34-year-old Saddledome. It hasn’t gone anywhere, as Calgary’s mayor Naheed Nenshi has basically, rightfully told them to go screw. So last week, CEO of the Flames Ken King said they would no longer seek a deal with “this administration.”
Basically, he’s trying to influence the mayoral election that comes next month. While that’s sickening enough, most of us don’t really bat an eye at a multi-million dollar corporation trying to swing elections simply for their benefit. Our entire country is now built on the fucking concept.
But what I think Nenshi might realize, or hope that he does, is that cities should really no longer fear their teams moving away.