Nov 18

Ken King pens open letter to Calgary Flames fans amid controversial comment

Calgary Flames president and CEO Ken King has penned an open letter to Calgarians after a controversial comment he made suggesting the team would have no choice but to move if a new arena isn’t built.

King made the comment during a Wednesday interview with Toronto radio station Sportsnet 590 The Fan, saying “there would be no threat to move, we would just move, and it would be over – and I am trying my level best to make sure that day never comes.”



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    The comment came after Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters that CalgaryNEXT, a proposed hybrid arena-stadium-field house potentially planned for construction in the West Village, is “dead.”

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    On Sunday, a letter written by King was posted to the Calgary Flames website and sent out to season ticket holders.

    In it, King explained he made the comment when asked if he was going to use the threat of moving as a tactic.

    “I said we would not,” he stated.

    “The facts are we need a solution, and if it is deemed that there is no made-in-Calgary solution we will have to make a decision at that time, which logically could include deciding to move the team.”

    “It is merely one out of a few possible outcomes if we are unable to reach a deal with the City [of Calgary] that will work for both sides.”

    “I don’t think it’s fair to threaten people. It’s not the right way to do things,” King said in an interview with Global News on Saturday.

    “If moving is in our future, then my job, my entire consideration here is to ensure that day never comes. We wouldn’t threaten to move. We would make a decision, we’d put a recommendation to our ownership group and make a decision about what alternatives we have.”

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    Nenshi issued a statement Saturday in response to King’s comments.

    “I am confident that a new project that has public benefit for public money exists, and I know both sides are working very hard on that,” he said. “The owners of the Calgary Flames have repeatedly assured Calgarians that they would not threaten to move the team, and I assume that they have not shifted from that position.”

    King said he has been meeting with city officials weekly and talks are centred on finding an option for a new arena project.

    King went on to say he can’t imagine Calgary without the Flames and that he’s confident a deal can be reached on a new arena project.

    On Friday, the Flames clinched a playoff spot with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.