Sayonara Saddledome?

Officials for the NHL’s Calgary Flames in Alberta are musing the possibility of a new home for the team, which currently plays at and operates the city’s aging Pengrowth Saddledome.

The Saddledome was built in 1983 for $100 million and officials told the local Calgary Herald the building is showing signs of age that have caused it to lose a competitive edge.

For one, the venue’s saddle-shaped roof dips in the middle, which has presented a problem for the trussing needs of major tour productions. Madonna, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion, The Jonas Brothers, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were all mentioned as acts that looked into playing Calgary but ultimately passed.

Ken King, president of the Flames, told the paper that following “informal discussions at all government levels,” the team is moving forward on plans for a more modern arena. Officials have also apparently examined “several architectural looks” during consultations that could once again make the team’s home a big player in the region.

“It would definitely enhance the likelihood of more and varied concerts,” King said. “We pass up some of the biggest and, in the entertainment world, perhaps most important concerts due to physical limitations and restrictions of the building.”

The city’s Stampede Park and the current site of the Big Four Building have been floated as possible locations for the new arena, the Herald reported.

Financing for an arena development has yet to be secured, however, and provincial and city officials told the paper public funds just aren’t available for such a project at this point.

“Other than the provision of the land, the city is certainly not in a financial position to be building an arena,” Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier said.

King said discussions regarding funding the building were premature.

“We will make a presentation when and if we seek public funding,” he said. “In what quantum and if that’s going to take place has not been determined.”