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  #581  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2017, 12:21 AM
elly63 elly63 is offline
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Bombers once again show support for world mental health day
Robbie Abrahamson cfl.ca

For the 3rd year in a row, the Bombers joined the list of organizations to show support for World Mental Health Day.



Last night, Investors Group Field shined bright with the colour of purple emanating from the stadium. This is significant as purple is the colour that represents mental health awareness.

“We hope that this small act helps to continue a growing conversation about mental health in our community,” – Wade Miller.

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  #582  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2017, 12:32 AM
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The pits are the life for ex-Argo Walls
Cut by two CFL teams, Curtis Walls tried out for a NASCAR pit crew. Now he's hooked, working for Chip Ganassi and part of a wave of athletes switching to the paint-trading world of speed and rubber — and trying to make a difference.
Mark Zwolinski Sports reporter thestar.com Oct 8 2017

When Curtis Walls hopped over the pit wall to help change tires on Jamie McMurray’s No. 1 car at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, he was doing more than just swapping worn-out rubber.

He was part of a bigger trend: elite athletes becoming pit-crew workers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Walls might be remembered as a former receiver and punt returner who spent the 2011 season with the Toronto Argonauts. Today, instead of racking up yardage, he’s buying time. He can get a 50-pound tire changed in roughly 10 seconds, helping McMurray get back on track in pursuit of the season title.

It isn’t something the North Carolina-raised Walls ever expected to be doing.

“Even though I grew up in Charlotte, I had no experience with NASCAR,” said Walls, an academic standout at North Carolina A&T. “I was not a car person. I never knew NASCAR would become an opportunity for me. But one of the things we now say to new guys coming into (auto racing) is, we don’t expect you to be in the sport. And when you see them succeed, it’s amazing to see that the people who can handle the grind are the ones who come to care about the sport.”

Walls is one of three ex-CFLers on McMurray’s Chip Ganassi crew, along with former Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Richie Williams and ex-Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Jonathan Willard.

Walls’ road from the gridiron to pit lane began when he suffered a knee injury in 2011. Released by the Argos, he caught on with the Calgary Stampeders. Another cut left him short of options.

“I was working out and playing, and then when I got released from Calgary I kept working out and trying to get back into the NFL,” Walls said. “I then signed with Pittsburgh in the AFL and I said to myself, this is not where I want my career to go. I had (accountant Richard Carter) handling my business ventures . . . and he put me in touch with Shaun Peet, who was a pit-crew coach for Chip Ganassi.”

His introduction to a different kind of speed game was an eye-opener.

“I went out to meet the team, and I can tell you it was a world I didn’t expect,” Walls recalled. “I had to compete there. It wasn’t just showing up for work. The guys were all competitive. They all played pro sports. I was a receiver and a returner in football, but all I could offer off the top in NASCAR was that I was coachable and had good hand-to-eye co-ordination. Everything else was so brand new to me.”

While McMurray’s crew might be the only one with three ex-CFLers in the mix, the number of athletes making the switch from other sports — including hockey and wrestling — has steadily increased since the days when pit crews were mostly comprised of mechanics and shop workers pulling double duty.

What started as a trickle in the late 1990s, when Andy Papathanassiou began to recruit elite athletes for Jeff Gordon’s team, has become a wave: 80 per cent of current NASCAR pit crews are made up of athletes who competed at a high level in other sports, either professionally or in college.

The rationale is simple: Every fraction of a second counts in a race, and bringing in athletes known for their speed, strength and agility adds up.

The results have been dramatic. Where 15 seconds was once considered an excellent clocking for a NASCAR pit stop, now it can be done as quickly as nine seconds.

Walls has been changing tires for Ganassi’s team for four seasons now. He’s also trying to help change the sport for the better.

As a Black man raised in the south, NASCAR wasn’t something he had interest in growing up. Five years ago, the series started handing out diversity awards to drivers, teams and tracks, and in 2016 Daniel Suarez became the first Mexican-born champion, in the Xfinity support series. Today, reaching out to new fans is something Walls feels strongly about, at a time when — despite an $8.2-billion (U.S.) TV contract that runs through 2024 — TV ratings and attendance are on the decline.

“Because I grew up in a culture that didn’t recognize NASCAR … you have to have an understanding of the importance of being open-minded,” Walls said. “That was a good thing for me, and I think it’s important for the future of NASCAR — redefining their sport, redefining the look of their pit crews — and if you are not recruiting athletes, you won’t be competitive.

“It’s changing the culture of the sport, and it’s really the changing microcosm of life … where you have people with different values and backgrounds come together and change things.”
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  #583  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2017, 11:26 PM
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^Oops, wrong thread
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  #584  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 1:03 PM
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Safe to say the Flames ownership won't be too happy about the mayoral election vote





The second one (from the Flames communications director) was deleted
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  #585  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 2:50 PM
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Good for Calgary. The cold hard truth is that it doesn't need to dump millions into a private real estate development dressed up as an arena and downtown revitalization initiative. Only an idiot would cave in to the NHL's demands when it's clear that Calgary doesn't actually have to.

That said, it's pretty likely that this will be Nenshi's last term. So really, the Flames just have to ride out the next 4 years and they will have a much better chance next time out of manipulating the process to install a stooge more favourable toward dispensing huge dollops of unnecessary corporate welfare promoting a pro-arena candidate.
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  #586  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 5:19 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
Good for Calgary. The cold hard truth is that it doesn't need to dump millions into a private real estate development dressed up as an arena and downtown revitalization initiative. Only an idiot would cave in to the NHL's demands when it's clear that Calgary doesn't actually have to.

That said, it's pretty likely that this will be Nenshi's last term. So really, the Flames just have to ride out the next 4 years and they will have a much better chance next time out of manipulating the process to install a stooge more favourable toward dispensing huge dollops of unnecessary corporate welfare promoting a pro-arena candidate.
Jesus, it's already been over 4 years of this BS - do you really think they're going to wait another 4?

I was hoping to dump Nenshi AND see Ken King fired so we could start fresh and have some real meaningful conversation and negotiation. And for those of you who think the Flames will never move? Well let's just say I wouldn't underestimate that little weasel Bettman.
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  #587  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 5:46 PM
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Jesus, it's already been over 4 years of this BS - do you really think they're going to wait another 4?

I was hoping to dump Nenshi AND see Ken King fired so we could start fresh and have some real meaningful conversation and negotiation. And for those of you who think the Flames will never move? Well let's just say I wouldn't underestimate that little weasel Bettman.
They'll wait. They're not losing money right now and still in the top 1/3 of the league for profitability. Relocating fee is expensive and not much in the way of venues currently exists (Seattle is renovating).

Had the Flames kept their mouths shut, Nenshi might have been out. It is a shame they turned the mayoral election into an arena debate - distracts people from all the other important issues in the city and Nenshi's handling of them.

By the way, super classy post by the Flames communication director! With geniuses like that running the operation, it's no wonder they're politically tone deaf.
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  #588  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 6:15 PM
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And for those of you who think the Flames will never move? Well let's just say I wouldn't underestimate that little weasel Bettman.
I don't think anyone doubts that the Flames would move if push came to shove. But what makes the threat laughable is the fact that Calgary is an extremely attractive hockey market and it's more than likely that some other NHL franchise would relocate to Calgary to fill that gap.
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  #589  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 7:28 PM
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And for those of you who think the Flames will never move? Well let's just say I wouldn't underestimate that little weasel Bettman.
Bettman has worked his ass off in the past to ensure that franchises do not relocate (including Canadian franchises). Calgary isn't moving anywhere.
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  #590  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 7:40 PM
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Bettman has worked his ass off in the past to ensure that franchises do not relocate (including Canadian franchises). Calgary isn't moving anywhere.
Yeah, I suppose so. Calgary is the most valuable of the "next four" NHL markets in Canada.
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  #591  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 8:09 PM
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Yeah, I suppose so. Calgary is the most valuable of the "next four" NHL markets in Canada.
To split hairs, Forbes has Edmonton slightly ahead.
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  #592  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 8:27 PM
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To split hairs, Forbes has Edmonton slightly ahead.
I strongly suspect that's because the Oilers are now benefitting from the screw-job they inflicted on Edmonton taxpayers. A similar arrangement is obviously the goal for Flames ownership.
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  #593  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2017, 9:54 PM
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Had the Flames kept their mouths shut, Nenshi might have been out.
I think Bill Smith got way more votes than he would have otherwise. The Flames promoted the hell out of him (as did a lot of corporate Calgary), I think it was his position on the Green Line LRT that cost him the election. Either way, I'm happy with the result.

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Bettman has worked his ass off in the past to ensure that franchises do not relocate (including Canadian franchises). Calgary isn't moving anywhere.
Agreed, the Flames aren't going anywhere despite the rhetoric.
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  #594  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2017, 2:34 AM
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To split hairs, Forbes has Edmonton slightly ahead.
Due to the presence of a franchise player I suppose.
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  #595  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2017, 6:36 AM
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^And a shiny new arena.
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  #596  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2017, 7:18 AM
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I strongly suspect that's because the Oilers are now benefitting from the screw-job they inflicted on Edmonton taxpayers. A similar arrangement is obviously the goal for Flames ownership.

Cost of the arena is $480 million, $130 million paid by the Katz Group, $125 million paid for by a ticket tax on all tickets sold at the venue and $200 million from the City and $25 million from other levels of government for the second ice surface/community rink to be used for the public and nearby university. The City's portion will be paid via a Community Revitalization Zone Levy (CRL) and other extra revenue like parking. Note that there was no tax rate increase in order to pay for any part of the arena.

The philosophy behind the CRL program is:

Major revitalization projects attract and increase local activity, investment and development. Economic growth creates additional tax revenue for all orders of government. Additional municipal and provincial property taxes from the economic growth will help fund the original project.

The amount of new tax revenue that the lands in and around the arena will make for the City on an annual basis, FAR exceeds the $200 million that the City has seeded into this project. There is currently over $2.5 billion in construction going on in the Arena district itself including a 56 floor hotel,69 floor office/condo. A 29 floor office and other retail businesses including a grocer, movie theater complex, restaurants, bars, etc. This district has fast forwarded many new condo high rises that have been announced since the arena was started and would not have existed without the new arena.

The CRL funding forecasts are based on only 40% of the growth predicted in Rollo’s conservative model, and still the CRL was calculated to generate, in net present value, $473 million in new taxes over 20 years.

So how investing $200 million in this multi billion district, getting almost $500 million in new taxation revenue (maybe more) AND revitalizing the city's downtown at the same time is a bad deal?
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  #597  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2017, 1:50 PM
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^ Calgary simply doesn't need to prime the pump that badly to the point where it's basically giving a businessman a $604 million arena project at virtually no cost (well, OK, at a cost of $23.68 million) to get a few towers built.
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  #598  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2017, 2:23 PM
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^ Don't forget that the city of Edmonton was also strong armed into leasing 250k of office space in Katzs towers, emptying out a significant amount of existing office space in the core, and which will have a negative effect on the CRL as commercial values decrease (this is already happening)

And the infamous skybox that council had exclusive access to

And that while owned by the city, the city will see no real tangible benefit to owning the arena, the city is on the hook for major repairs and capital upgrades

And of course the obliteration of a 100 some odd year old Edmonton agricultural institution in the name of "downtown revitalization"

I doubt anyone would've spent the money to build a private arena in downtown Edmonton so this is probably the only way it was going to happen here. But it was definitely a bad deal. Calgary's downtown is of course not nearly in the state Edmonton's is so there's no pressing urgency to embark on a lofty "revitalization" project, and Calgary is much better positioned to negotiate a proper, fair deal for the city
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  #599  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2017, 2:40 PM
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^ I get the impression that the NHL was hoping Calgary could get pushed into playing the "me too" game but it appears it's not going to be that simple for them.

As much as I like to think that it is due to the sophistication of the public in Calgary, I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the sheer ineptitude of the Calgary ownership group when it comes to this issue.
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  #600  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2017, 2:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Black Star View Post
Cost of the arena is $480 million, $130 million paid by the Katz Group, $125 million paid for by a ticket tax on all tickets sold at the venue and $200 million from the City and $25 million from other levels of government for the second ice surface/community rink to be used for the public and nearby university. The City's portion will be paid via a Community Revitalization Zone Levy (CRL) and other extra revenue like parking. Note that there was no tax rate increase in order to pay for any part of the arena.

The philosophy behind the CRL program is:

Major revitalization projects attract and increase local activity, investment and development. Economic growth creates additional tax revenue for all orders of government. Additional municipal and provincial property taxes from the economic growth will help fund the original project.

The amount of new tax revenue that the lands in and around the arena will make for the City on an annual basis, FAR exceeds the $200 million that the City has seeded into this project. There is currently over $2.5 billion in construction going on in the Arena district itself including a 56 floor hotel,69 floor office/condo. A 29 floor office and other retail businesses including a grocer, movie theater complex, restaurants, bars, etc. This district has fast forwarded many new condo high rises that have been announced since the arena was started and would not have existed without the new arena.

The CRL funding forecasts are based on only 40% of the growth predicted in Rollo’s conservative model, and still the CRL was calculated to generate, in net present value, $473 million in new taxes over 20 years.

So how investing $200 million in this multi billion district, getting almost $500 million in new taxation revenue (maybe more) AND revitalizing the city's downtown at the same time is a bad deal?
OMG. It's neither $200 million or $2.5 billion. That's just rhetoric. No one is denying it didn't accelerate some development however, patience would have built office, retail, residential anyways without a CRL looming over it. We won't know for a while if it created additional demand for commercial/residential or a looming glut is on the horizon from all the space being built at once. Even then, that doesn't mean a CRL was a good choice.
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