The Scotiabank Saddledome’s unique shape is instantly associated with Calgary, even though it isn’t the first of its kind.
The Capital Centre in Washington, D.C., opened its doors a decade before its sister rink in Alberta.
It was the home to the NHL’s Washington Capitals until 1997.
But the Saddledome could soon meet the same fate as its American counterpart.
According to the proposal from Calgary Flames Ownership and the City, the ‘dome would be demolished if a new arena is built, leaving many wondering what the city’s skyline would look like without the iconic rink.
Global News simulated what that view could look like if the rink was demolished and turned into a parking lot, per the deal’s plan.
“The Saddledome is something everyone can pick out as something that’s iconically Calgary,” resident Kelsi Hurlbut said. “I think it would be sad to lose it — especially as a parking lot.”
The news came as a surprise to some Swiss tourists taking in the view on Friday.
“The Saddledome belongs to the Olympic Games in my memories,” Martin Girsberter added. “I think it would be a pity if it were to be destroyed.”
Others, meanwhile, believe it’s time to move on.
“I’m not super attached to the Saddledome one way or another,” Emily Moore said. “I’m more of a music person than a sports person, and a lot of bands, big acts, don’t come here because it can’t host a big enough music setup.
“They go to Edmonton or skip this province altogether.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he’d be sad to see it go, but repurposing the 36-year-old building isn’t realistic.
“You’ve got a giant round building that is extremely steep,” he said.
“There’s not a lot you can do there, and so ultimately, rather than as we’ve seen up the highway — have a big debate after the fact and spend a lot of time and money — we’ve just got to make that decision.”
Feedback deadline extended
Calgarians still have a few more days to give feedback on the proposed new downtown arena.
Late Friday afternoon, the city announced it would extend the deadline to Monday afternoon.
More than 1,000 people had weighed in on the proposal by the initial feedback cutoff on Friday at noon. The early deadline only gave people six days to voice their opinions, which didn’t sit well with political analyst Duane Bratt.
“A lot of people are on holidays; they haven’t had time to digest this,” Bratt said. “It seems really rushed and I think it’s rushed by design. It’s to prevent opposition from mobilizing like we saw with the Olympic bid.”
The final vote goes before council on Tuesday.