Venue New: Flames’ Saddledome Damaged by Flood, Team President Vows to Rebuild Before 2013-14 Season

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

Last Friday night, floodwater from Calgary, Alberta’s Bow River filled the 30-year-old Scotiabank Saddledome — home to the NHL’s Flames — to the 10th row. The rink, the ice plant, and a few thousand seats were submerged by the shocking overflow; the dressing rooms, the Jumbotron nerve center, the Ed Whalen Lounge, and the Hot Stove Lounge are all likely destroyed. In a strange twist, the flooding makes the team’s quest for a new building an even more intriguing debate. After years of watching the Edmonton Oilers battle for public money to help build a new downtown rink, the Flames are on the verge of announcing their well-developed plans for a new home.

Despite the bottom rows of Scotiabank Saddledome being submerged in water after the recent flooding in Calgary, Alberta, the Flames are moving ahead with plans for the building to be ready in time to start 2013-14 NHL season in October. The flood that swept through Calgary and forced the evaluation of approximately 100,000 people deposited million of gallons of water on the arena floor and created a “total loss at the event level,” Flames president Ken King said. Restoration of the 30-year-old arena is set to begin as soon as floodwaters recede…

…Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium will soon receive what many alumni say is “a much needed” renovation. On Friday, the Michigan State Board of Trustees approved a $24.5 million addition to the north end of Spartan Stadium. The new, 50,000-square-foot, two-story addition will include locker rooms for the home and visiting teams and coaches, an officials’ locker room, renovated gates for entrance that agree with Homeland Security recommendations, and new media rooms.  The second level of the structure will have extra restrooms connected to the stadium’s concourse and a recruiting room for all sports. The addition is expected to be completed in the summer of 2014, just in time for the football season…

…A recently announced 20,000-seat arena headed by MGM Resorts International poses no threat to the push for a stadium on University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, university officials say. MGM announced Tuesday that it would proceed with its plan to build a $350 million indoor venue between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo casinos, extending toward Interstate 15. UNLV Now leader Don Snyder said that an arena on the Las Vegas Strip is not a cause for concern because it would attract a different market than the approximate $800 million mega-events center proposed on campus at the corner of Swenson and Harmon. UNLV’s 60,000-seat stadium will sit on approximately 150 acres of land and play host to a variety of events including football games and international soccer matches…

…After years spent languishing, the so-called “Eighth Wonder of the World” got a reprieve on Wednesday. The Astrodome, which was largely rendered obsolete in the last decade as football and baseball migrated to newer venues, will not be torn down. Instead, according to the Houston Chronicle, Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation will recommend converting the massive indoor venue into a massive indoor exhibition space. A proposal, costing $194 million, will go in front of Harris County Commissioners Court on June 25. The plan, created by the HCSCC, entails removing all seating and filling in the below-ground playing surface in order to create 355,000 square feet of open space.

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