Build­ing are­nas isn’t magic

Calgary Herald - - EDITORIAL -

Re: “Don’t be­lieve the naysay­ers,” Steve Ma­jor, Opin­ion, and “Well-planned are­nas help re­vi­tal­ize a city,” Wil­liam Bell, Opin­ion, Oct. 7.

The two lengthy col­umns favour­ing a new, pub­licly funded arena make a lot of claims about our need for the arena, premised on lofty claims about need based on civic pride, il­lu­sory and im­mea­sur­able in­tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits, and feel­ings.

There is no magic to build­ing are­nas.

Many ju­ris­dic­tions have built many are­nas and sports venues to their great and last­ing self harm. The Flames al­ready have a fairly new and ex­cel­lent arena prac­ti­cally cost-free.

Every other busi­ness in town has to pay for its own plant and equip­ment, city taxes and salaries, and the larger com­mu­nity gains in­tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits from their pres­ence.

The Flames should be no ex­cep­tion. A new, un­needed arena is hardly equiv­a­lent to good li­braries and per­for­mance the­atres. If one’s pride in Calgary is wrapped up in the Flames, then one should won­der about how lit­tle they like Calgary. Kerry Kamin­ski, Calgary

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