This is about professional sports venues, mostly hockey arenas. I’ll leave football fields alone today.
City council in Edmonton is close to completing a deal on building a new home for the Oilers. The final price tag will be somewhere between 400 and 600 million dollars, depending on how many ‘extras’ are included. Daryl Katz who owns the team threatened more than once to move the franchise if he couldn’t get a deal on a new building.
In Winnipeg, the Jets play in an arena which is aptly nicknamed the Phone Booth, partly because Manitoba Telecom bought the naming rights, and partly because it’s just not big enough, especially for large bodies like mine.
In New York, a one billion dollar renovation project is continuing at Madison Square Garden which first opened in 1968. Does anyone else wonder if these facilities will someday be more like TV studios?
Instead of using a large shoehorn to squeeze into a seat in the phone booth, my partner and I have been watching Jets games on a giant screen at the Met, a former movie house across the street which was reborn thanks to Canad Inns.
In addition to showing some classic films, the Met has become Winnipeg’s nicest sports bar. How big is the screen? Would you believe 35 feet by 26 feet, and the quality of the picture is amazing. Even when we splurge on food and beverages, the cost is less than the price of one ticket in the rink less than a block away. The comfort level is fantastic, and there are no line-ups for the biffies.
It’s becoming a more attractive option for the Boomer generation in particular, and I can’t wait for football season. How about a Labour Day Classic party featuring blue jerseys and green jerseys?
I used to think there were certain events that you just had to be there for. Now I’m not so sure.
I’m Roger Currie