A Pause for Reflection – Terrible Floods Claim Flames’ Saddledome
A sight that sends shivers down the spines of hockey fans across the world. Several thousand seats, the dressing rooms, the rink and even the Zambonis; usually bursting with the elation and energy of live sport. Instead, they sit eerily in silence, the murky water and ghostly atmosphere evidence of the tragedy that has befallen across the weekend.
After heavy rainfall caused two rivers to converge, Calgary has been plagued by severe floods which have already claimed three lives, forced 100,000 people into evacuation across Alberta and now caused catastrophic damage to the 30-year old home of the Flames, Hitmen and Roughnecks.
A building being destroyed means very little in the wake of those individuals the floods have taken from us, our thoughts are with their families at this incomprehensibly difficult time, but sporting arenas can often provide a glimmer of hope during dark days. This was seen in the role the Super-dome played in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and sparks of recovery have been seen at the Saddledome.
Even though the Flames organisation are urging people to stay away until the site is safe, many personnel have already volunteered their services to help get it back running as soon as possible. I’m sure that when it is determined that work can begin and the millions of gallons of water recede, this courageous attitude will ensure that the sporting home of the city does not need to bow its head for too long. Indeed, Flames’ President Ken King has confirmed that the stadium will be ready for the 2013/14 season and that replacement equipment has been ordered.
Although the eyes of the hockey world will be focused on the epic Game Five in Chicago tonight, I hope that the horrific sight at the Scotiabank Saddledome means people can spare a thought for all those in Calgary and even if it doesn’t offer much comfort with further floods on the way, let them know that as a community of NHL fans and with all rivalries aside, we are with them.