Brian Burke: Calgary behind the times on arenas, stadiums

Calgary Flames president Brian Burke talks about the Flames and their quest for a new stadium in Calgary.

CALGARY – Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke says taxpayers in other Canadian cities recognize the benefits of building new football and hockey arenas, so why don’t they in Calgary?

Burke told the Canadian Club of Calgary that Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg and Ottawa saw the economic benefit of new sports venues in those cities and built them.

A year after Edmonton opened the doors on Rogers Place, where the Oilers play, the Flames and the city of Calgary are negotiating who will pay for what on a new arena.

The Saddledome will soon be the oldest arena in the NHL, Burke says.

He points out one of the reasons it is difficult for Canadian teams to win the Stanley Cup is because U.S. teams get more favourable arena and lease deals.

He adds it’s disappointing when city officials don’t recognize the economic impact of the Flames on the city.

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