In this new era of idiotic spending for building inane structures to sate one’s own vain interests, you gotta go big to get noticed. Skyscrapers loaded with expensive penthouses in a slum, or McMansions slapped onto a once untouched coastline no longer make the news. Largely because of, well, you know who. And you know, he won’t shut up about that wall. That impractical, half-baked idea is the pinnacle of impractical, half-baked proposals after all. Bonus points for public funds! Surprisingly, Mexico didn’t want to pay for it. Who knew?
But spending ridiculous amounts of public cash for unnecessary structures has been a time honored practice long before the orange cholesterol clot showed up. SPORTS has long been a purveyor of this. And it works every damn time!
“We can’t afford it!” yell the billionaire owners. “Think of the new jobs!” they claim ignoring the fact these are primarily part-time minimum wage gigs that really bottom out during half a year when the SPORTS aren’t going on. So they threaten to leave, relocating the team, unless they get the public to pay for that new arena that’s replacing the “old” arena that’s, oh, say, twenty years old. Of course, the owners collect the money the team brings in and the public...get to keep a team or something. It’s been bullshit long ago and will stay that way into the foreseeable future.
The Oilers bent over immediately to pay whatever it took for their new arena that comes with state of the art technology like electricity, fancy boutiques like a Dollar Tree, and world class dining options such as Denny’s. They were terrified of Oilers ownership even looking at another city.
The Rams have been another example of this here in Los Angeles. They wanted a new stadium in the nineties, L.A. said no, and so they left for St. Louis because they said they would buy the Rams a new place.
Fucking St. Louis.
Naturally, things started to suck as soon as the new stadium started to age, and the Rams immediately pined for anywhere that wasn’t St. Louis. They tried to see if St. Louis would be dumb enough to pay for another new place, but this time the jerkoffs caught on.
So the Rams went back to L.A., paying for their new stadium on their own. Because leaving L.A. was a horrendous idea to begin with, but hey? Free stadium! Now Los Angeles got the team back, didn’t have to use the public to pay for a stadium, and it only took two decades!
Anyways, owners constantly try and pull this shit in every sport in every location. They’re money grubbing little old white bastards who know how to squeeze out a few bucks from someone else when they don’t have to. And bowing down before them for a new SPORTS stadium or arena is always a bad idea.
Except when you’re Calgary.
Calgary has nothing else. At all. It’s a desolation of Smaug up there. Again, at least Edmonton has the Denny’s. If you take the Flames out I think the only thing left up there would be Darryl Sutter’s ranch.
There are plenty of cities that are already in the process of getting cash together to build new arenas for the NHL, too. It makes no fucking sense why, but they are. Have they even seen a hockey game before?
Seattle, Quebec City, and Toronto.2 all are interested. Kansas City has had their arena sitting vacant for like a decade, so they better start working on funding for another new one in a few years if they’re actually serious. Pressure is on, Calgary. Once that team leaves, you’ll have nothing.
Except when the Ottawa Senators bail and you offer them a place to stay.