Reports reveal Calgary Flames' home arena is literally falling apart

·2-min read
The Flames have been needing a new home arena for years. (Getty)
The Flames have been needing a new home arena for years. (Getty)

The home of the Calgary Flames is literally coming apart at the seams, with parts of the roof of the Scotiabank Saddledome — the NHL’s oldest Canadian building and one of the oldest in the league — reportedly crumbling.

According to engineering documents obtained by CBC News via Alberta's Freedom of Information legislation, chunks of concrete have broken loose from the roof's ring beam in recent years, while other crumbling pieces have been removed to prevent them from worsening and falling.

News of the Saddledome's demise is nothing new to engineers. Back in 2021, firm Entuitive told Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), that "the condition of the concrete around the ring beam is worsening at an accelerated rate."

Netting was even placed in certain spots around the ring beam to catch pieces of concrete imminently expected to fall.

Reports have noted that these issues are mostly cosmetic and pose "no structural concern" for the time being.

A senior official "who is familiar with the reports and the Saddledome" told CBC News there are no concerns about public safety or the stability of the roof as a whole.

The same official also told the CBC that it plans to stabilize the concrete and implement a plan to fix the problem in the coming months.

The building was opened in 1983 and has been the home of the Calgary Flames since. Only Madison Square Garden, the home of the New York Rangers, has been open for longer.

Battles between the Flames and the City of Calgary on the status of the Saddledome have been ongoing for nearly a decade, with squabbles over public funding for a new arena picking up significant steam around 2017 during Calgary’s municipal elections.

The two sides nearly came together on an agreement back in 2019 that would’ve seen taxpayers and the Calgary Flames split costs on the original $550 million bill. That deal, however, eventually fell apart last December after costs began to balloon, leading the Flames to walk away.

According to the CBC report, the city of Calgary has continued exploring avenues to have a new stadium built for the Flames, though no details have been released due to the confidentiality of the briefings. Back in May, The city hired officials from a local commercial real estate firm in an effort to resuscitate negotiations.

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