Flames president Ken King says the Saddledome will be ready for start of NHL season.
CALGARY, AB -- Bend, not break.
That was the message Calgary Flames President and CEO Ken King conveyed in regards to how the organization will deal with damage at the Scotiabank Saddledome and how the province of Alberta will handle the disaster in coming weeks.
The Saddledome suffered extensive flooding on Thursday and Friday and while the extent of the damage is not yet known, King describes the event level as a "total loss," as the flooding now sits at row eight in the lower bowl.
There were some items salvaged, however, as the organization was able to move things before the building was fully evacuated early Friday morning. The team has also already begun restoration planning and are hoping to get started soon.
"We had a recovery action plan put in place immediately," King explained. "Our executive group met this morning and went through a number of tasks as you can expect, including everything from dealing with our staff communication, to shareholder communication, stakeholder communication and what we are going to do to recover this building as quick as possible.
"We have equipment, the biggest water pumps in North America, on standby for us and many of them. We have people on standby ready to go work but they can only go to work, and the equipment can only be put in place once we see the river subside."
The nearest scheduled events at the building are all Stampede-related and while restoration efforts cannot begin until the water recedes, the goal is to have the building equipped and ready to go.
"That's a move-in that is nine days from now," King said. "That may seem ludicrously ambitious but this is Calgary. Libby (Raines - Vice President of Building Operations) and her group and the staff charged with that are going to try to move heaven and Earth to try to do it."
In regards to the start of the WHL and NHL seasons in the fall, King is confident the building will prepared and operational.
"We're going to be ready for the opening of the season."
Given the dedication and commitment Calgarians have displayed, this doesn't seem unrealistic at all.
NOTE: The Calgary Flames are urging everyone to stay away from the Scotiabank Saddledome until further notice due to safety concerns. The building is not open and you will not be allowed entry.