Stamps’ boss on the future of McMahon Stadium: ‘We need new infrastructure here’

Click to play video: 'Calgary looks at options for sports facilities without Olympic funding'
Calgary looks at options for sports facilities without Olympic funding
WATCH: Calgary City Council officially ended its bid for the 2026 Olympics on Monday, but that isn’t stopping the city from pushing for cash for sports facilities. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports – Nov 19, 2018

Calgary needs a new football stadium despite the majority “no” vote in last week’s Olympic bid plebiscite.

This, according to Ken King, president and CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment. He said while he understands why some people voted no in the plebiscite, the renovations included in the now-scuttled bid would have helped the aging McMahon Stadium.

“This city would have benefited from it, the stadium would have benefitted from it … you [were] going to put lipstick on this old stadium. [But] this stadium needs to be replaced at some point,” he said.
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“We need new infrastructure here [and] I think the Olympics would have afforded us a part of … that.”

He pointed to other Canadian Football League (CFL) markets as examples of how a new stadium can demonstrate a city’s commitment to Canadian football.

“Saskatchewan and Ottawa and Hamilton and Winnipeg.  Look what they’ve done in those cities,” he said. “They’ve made a huge commitment to the CFL and I think at some point Calgary has to make a commitment to the CFL.”

King said he always liked the idea of an indoor stadium, despite the “romantic” notion of playing professional football outdoors.

“We’ve never given up on that whole idea that field house that can be combined into a stadium … we could have something amazing in this country … an indoor football stadium.”

King added that he’s going to keep pushing for a new stadium, but said the Stampeders will always be “players” in the CFL, no matter what happens in the stadium debate.

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“I think we just need to keep our shoulders to the wheel, to be mindful if we are going to be players in the Canadian Football League … we’re going to be players … we’re going to be there for a long, long time,” he said. “It would be so important and so valuable if we could replace the stadium.”

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