Burke calls the Saddledome ’embarrassing’

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Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke says the team’s arena situation is “embarrassing.”

“There is one building worse than ours,” Burke said yesterday, per the Calgary Herald. “Has anyone been there? Islanders. So we don’t actually have the worst building in the National Hockey League. But we have a state-of-the-art 1988 building.”

The Scotiabank Saddledome actually opened in 1983. Only four current NHL arenas predate it. The oldest, Madison Square Garden (1968), just underwent a massive renovation, while the Islanders are moving to a new arena in Brooklyn in 2015, the Red Wings have plans to replace The Joe, and the Oilers are already building their new downtown arena.

“There’s absolutely no reason why we should watch a new building going up in Edmonton and we’ve got to play in a 1988 building here,” said Burke.

The question, as always, will be, who should pay for it?

From 660 News in Calgary:

Even though the idea of a new rink for Calgary’s NHL franchise is only being floated right now, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation vows to battle any attempts to include public dollars.

The Alberta Director of the CTF tells 660News, while the owner of the Oilers managed to get 10′s of millions of dollars out of Edmonton city council for his new rink, there is no appetite for a similar venture here.

Derek Filderbfandt said Calgary doesn’t have the same corporate welfare culture as Edmonton.

Filderbrandt admits the Flames do need a new arena, but that cash should come from the pockets of the team’s owners.

Related: Calgary mayor cool to funding new arena for Flames