By Urban Anomie
After years of speculation and rumours, the Calgary Flames have officially unveiled plans to convert an old Target location in the city’s northwest into their new world class arena.
The new state of the art facility attached to Market Mall will house a Starbucks location, escalators that can move visitors and their friend being pushed in a shopping cart because they’re too drunk too walk (it’s the infamous heroin beer) between levels, and easy access to dozens of nearby amenities such as New York Fries and the Sunglass Hut.
The NHL team jumped on the Market Mall location after the failure that was Target’s ‘Canadian invasion’ caused the retailer to pull out of the country leaving 133 possible-arena locations up for grabs.
Flames Vice President, Pete Cummings, says the new location is ideal, and will be a tremendous improvement over the aging Saddledome–one of the oldest arenas in the NHL currently in use.
“We’ll be cramming over 18,000 seats into the location,” says Cummings. “6,000 on the lover level, and 12,000 on the upper level. And as a bonus, the new building was already painted red inside.”
The new facility will not have stadium seating, but Cummings insists views of the rink will be great from every section.
Typically, stadiums around the world position seats such that they are placed higher than the seats immediately in front of them so that the occupants of further-back seats have less of their views blocked by those further forward, but the Flames believe they have found a solution for that.
“Mirrors,” says Cummings. “We will be strategically placing mirrors throughout the facility so that every section has an unobstructed view of the ice surface.”
Reactions over the new arena from hockey fans were mixed. Dale Roberts, a season ticket holder since 2004 says he won’t be renewing his seats over parking fears.
“Have you even been to Market mall on a Saturday?” blared Roberts. “And what about around Christmas time for crying out loud. It’s a bona fide gong show.”
Roberts thinks a better location would have been North Hill Mall, because it’s always dead and the C-Train is nearby.
“I mean, Sears is a good as dead, anyway—that would have been a good spot.”
Others including Joanne Neufeld are cautiously optimistic.
“I guess it won’t be so bad.” said Neufeld. “I actually didn’t even know Calgary had a professional basketball team.”
The team is slated to move-in to their new arena in 2017. The Saddledome is slated to be demolished after then, hopefully taking with it the city’s western cowboy identity that has hovered over the city for too long.
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