Begrudgingly, I am beginning to think that Calgary does in fact need a new stadium. While I do appreciate the natural deterrent McMahon is to fans of the quieter and boring variety, I think the lack of a high-quality venue is hurting Calgary. It looks just plain terrible when Moncton is selected as a venue for a major FIFA event over Calgary.
While not having a venue that will allow Calgary to compete with other cities for major events seems like an adequate justification for building a new stadium, the most pertinent justification might be having a new stadium project that is financially feasible. This stems from the fact that I keep hearing the question, "How are we going to justify spending hundreds of millions on a facility that will only be used about 10-12 times a year?".
So how do we go about answering this question? Simple, build a facility that can be used numerous times throughout the year (i.e. an indoor stadium).
Now, I am a firm believe that that outdoor sports should be played outdoors so I tend to hate indoor stadiums because even those with retractable roofs tend to have an artificial feel. However, those beautiful Swedes have built an indoor stadium that I think I would happily trek to in order to watch the Stamps or any other type of football match.
The Tele2 Arena is a beautiful stadium in Stockholm that is not only a gem to look at but appears to have an 'outdoor feel' when the roof is retracted. Most importantly, it looks as though the stadium will be thoroughly used as an entertainment venue. The Tele2 Arena will host football matches, special hockey games, motorsports, concerts, and even corporate events.
Is this something that could work in Calgary? As the $381M cost of the Tele2 Arena shows, it would still be a costly venture. However, it would offer so many opportunities to recoup those costs as opposed to even cheaper outdoor alternatives. Another thing to consider would be the Flames ownership, would they be able to fill both a new arena and stadium from the same pool of events? The ability for stadiums like the Tele2 Arena to host corporate events might help make this possible.
Thoughts? Other ideas?