B Is For Billionaires

If there’s one thing you can say about billionaires, it’s that they know good value when they see it.

I’d like to think that’s why the Flames’ owners finally decided to bring in Jaromir Jagr, who I would much rather have seen in a Canuck uniform this year.

You know what else provides great value to Calgary? The Saddledome. Originally built to house the Flames in 1983, and home to the Winter Olympics in 1988, the Saddledome may be getting a little long in the tooth, but it still serves its purpose and adds a little beauty to the Calgary skyline.

But hey, billionaires didn’t get to be billionaires by preserving the natural beauty. Nor by passing up a chance to suckle at the public teat.

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Which is why the Flames not only want the city to build them a new stadium, but they are demanding that the Saddledome be torn down as well.

And I mean, after the Oilers and their billionaire owner, Daryl Katz, successfully extorted a new stadium out of the City of Edmonton, why wouldn’t Murray Edwards expect the same public largesse?

The irony, of course, is that if Calgary actually were to give in to the Flames’ demands, the only two publicly funded NHL arenas in Canada would be in Alberta, a province that has continually birthed the most conservative politicians and political parties in the country. Yes, Alberta, the home of free market arena capitalism:

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But seriously, if there’s one thing we should know by know, it’s that capitalism is built on socialized costs and privatized profits. In many respects, this is exactly how billionaire owners got to be billionaires, so why wouldn’t they keep going back to the well?

The only thing standing in the way is Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshi. Nenshi, who may be Canada’s most popular mayor, has been adamant in his unwillingness to burden Calgary’s taxpayers with the cost of financing the Flames’ ability to siphon more money out of the city’s hockey fans. And make no mistake, that’s exactly what the Edwards and Flames want to do here. They want to increase revenues. Revenues for the Flames are expenses for Flames fans. But unlike other businesses that might invest in their capital stock, in order to generate more revenues, the Flames want Calgarians to pay for the privilege of paying for NHL hockey.

You can tell that Nenshi is starting to get to not only the Flames, but also the NHL, because Bettman has become increasingly involved in the attempts to extort money out of the city. And much like the successful campaign in Edmonton, Bettman is relying on a variety of hockey journalists that always seem to have the inside scoop from the NHL:

And as part of that campaign in the local media, Bettman and the Flames management have all but encouraged Calgarians to vote out Nenshi in the upcoming election. But if there’s one thing Calgarians hate more than Edmonton, it’s being told what to do by smug lawyers from out east. Just ask Pierre Trudeau.

Predictably, this attempt by Bettman to interject himself into the middle of Calgary’s civic election is not going well.

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But hey, this wouldn’t be the first time Bettman and NHL have taken a political misstep in the last couple of weeks. As I touched on last week, the NHL needlessly inserted itself into the controversy surrounding Donald Trump and his criticism of professional athletes. Bettman assured us that the NHL is apolitical, and the only reason that the Pittsburgh Penguins would be visiting the Trump White House is out of respect for the institution of the Office of the President. Given all of this, I suppose the message we can take away from all this is that the NHL thinks the Office of the President should be respected, but mayors can go fuck themselves:

Finally, I want to end with a request.

I have no idea how this will turn out, but given that Nenshi and the City have indicated on more than one occasion that they are willing to make a significant contribution to the construction of a new arena, just not willing to foot the entire bill, it is likely that some sort of deal for a new arena will eventually be worked out.

If and when that happens, Calgarians will wind up shouldering at least one third of the cost, given that was the City’s last offer, summarily rejected by the Flames. So we could expect that the final debt burden will be higher than that, if a compromise is to be reached. That being the case, I hope that when they finally demolish the Saddledome, they consider keeping the name for the new arena. After all, it would be rather appropriate:

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  • Peggy McIntosh

    If the liberal white supremacists that run Canucks Army want to better convince the masses they are not liberal white supremacists, they should change up the demographic of their cabinet.

    People are catching onto the fact that majority white men, a couple of white women and one Asian woman – to keep the white women honest – is the setup of choice for the liberal white supremacist.

    And why all this criticism of so-called capitalism?

    Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern money is good for the Canadian economy.

    I enjoy living in a world where talentless white capitalists have to super size my fries because mommy and daddy never trained them how to compete…

      • Peggy McIntosh

        As a non-white, female, bisexual Scientologist with ingrown toenails, I find your comment racist, sexist, heternormative, spiritually parochial and offensive to four of my five senses.

        • KCasey

          I sincerely hope in my heart of hearts that you truly are a scientologist….the completely fictional ‘religion’, founded by ‘a white devil’ (to qoute you) who literally wrote science fiction most of his life….and spent most of his final years living in luxery on a yacht in international ocean waters because he was a wanted criminal in countless countries on claims of fraud and imbezzelment. If this claim of yours isnt a troll and is truly honest, you just made my day.
          On a completely seperate note, I cannot understand how one day you will post a very logical and thoughtful message pertaining to hockey and the canucks and have very points and references and than the next day rant and insult almost every race and culture that isnt black.
          Non the less I cant deny you the fact that you have some decent hockey accumen buried away in the hateful little mind of yours. If you could keep the hockey related post ratio at a 10:1 compared to the ignorant racial babble that would be fantastic. Take care of yourself Peggy. Seriously.

          • Peggy McIntosh

            “a white devil’ (to qoute you)”

            Good lord.

            Did they not teach you English in English class?

            The sooner Mandarin becomes the dominant language on the planet the better.

            “Non the less I cant deny you the fact that you have some decent hockey accumen”

            This is what we call white supremacist cognitive dissonance.


  • Steamer

    Appropriate if comments on this site pertain to hockey; not interested in rhetorical rants best suited for blog posts. Would appreciate some quality control from site-management.

    • Peggy McIntosh

      It is perfectly appropriate to question the Richard Spencer style white supremacist structure Canucks Army employs.

      Particularly when Vanessa Jang is subjected to white supremacist Asian female fetishism that the site-management has never addressed.

      Once again, the white supremacist employment structure Canucks Army employs normalizes this type of behaviour from their readership.

      And as Stephen Paddock has once again demonstrated, allowing white supremacist behaviour to be normalized enables white extremist behaviour that can go off at any moment.

      The Fentanyl doesn’t seem to be chilling white people out.



  • gnam

    First. Credit where sure. Petbugs … Not Always a fan of your commentary. But this is top shelf.

    Peggy. Somtimes you’re on. Not today though.

    Thanks for a bit of fun bugs.

  • truthseeker

    Beautiful article! Here here. Channel that Chomsky!

    If canuck owners ever came begging for public money I’d drive the bus and the team to the airport and wish them well in their new city. taxpayers paying for billionaires over a bloody game? No thanks.

    Somehow I suspect the mindless herd in Vancouver would support the corporate welfare though. Like they did with the olympics. sad there are so many brainwashed people.

  • Peggy McIntosh

    Publicly funded stadiums are good for the economy.

    Vancouver is prime real estate and it’s high time we started kicking the lazy white people out.

    The minority of hard working white people can stay (for now).

    The only reason so many white people are anti-capitalistic these days is because their reign atop the pyramid is coming to an end.

    And that is exactly how it should be.

    Being at the top too long makes the kings and queens sloppy.

    Maybe in a hundred years the sub 3% of the global population that is white will rule again.


    • Kanucked

      Is this the appropriate forum to discuss the issues you present? If you’re serious about your concerns, there are other venues to discuss them. I’m not sure this is it.

      From what I can tell from your previous posts, one of the few issues you have that is relevant to this forum is the logo. Given the importance of the other issues you raise, I would suggest that it is not that important.

      Or perhaps you are a troll and this is a good way to get a reaction.

      Either way, I hope this site initiates an ignore button soon.

    • truthseeker

      No they aren’t. Publicly funded stadiums provide no benefits whatsoever. (unless the tax payers get all the revenue and profits back from them)

      Capitalism doesn’t exist.

  • surreal78

    This is possibly the first Petbugs / Graphic Comments post I’ve actually agreed wholeheartedly with. And I’m not white. either, just to head off any potential insinuations of racism/etc.