SBD/June 25, 2013/Facilities

Execs Say Calgary Stampede Will Go On As Scheduled Despite Saddledome Flooding

Stampede officials say the event has never been cancelled in its history
Flames President & CEO Ken King estimates that "30 million gallons of water was pumped" from the Scotiabank Saddledome yesterday, but "plenty of work remains," according to Brody Mark of the CALGARY HERALD. Mud is "all that remains and because of it, in-depth assessments of damage and the introduction of restoration teams have begun." King went on to "re-affirm that everything from kitchen equipment to hockey helmets to audiovisual equipment was destroyed by the flood, which at one point reached Row 14 of the Flames’ home." His team was "busy ordering replacements for all that was lost on Monday, but no timeline was given for when they will arrive, or where it will be stored while the Saddledome goes through renovations." King said that his team is "working hard to ensure the building is ready to go" for the Calgary Stampede rodeo on July 5. King added that after the Stampede "comes and goes ... only then will they focus on readying the building" for the upcoming WHL Calgary Hitmen and Flames season (CALGARY HERALD, 6/25). Predators GM David Poile, referring back to the Nashville floods in May '10, said, "I knew what it was like -- we’d been through something similar here -- but when I saw the pictures from Calgary ... it’s way, way worse than what we had to go through. You’re talking 10 to 12 feet, 14 rows of your building. That encompasses so many different things, from electrical, to equipment and right on down. That’s a major, major difference. Ours was only between a foot and a half in depth, two feet at the highest point." In Calgary, George Johnson notes the waters in '10 "didn’t actually reach Bridgestone Arena, the way they washed against the Scotiabank Saddledome here late last week, but the sewage system was so overtaxed, the ramifications were inevitable" (CALGARY HERALD, 6/25).

THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Calgary Stampede CEO Vern Kimball yesterday said that going ahead with the event "is a vital show of defiance in the face of disaster." He added, "We'll deliver the Stampede to take a break from pumping water from their houses." Kimball said that they "fully intend to recover the entire Stampede Grounds in time for the July 5 opening." He added that they are "not ruling out concerts ... at the Scotiabank Saddledome." Kimball said that calling off the Stampede "wasn't an option." He said, "Throughout our entire history, we have never cancelled a show despite two wars and a depression" (CALGARY SUN, 6/25).
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