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Flames: Flooded Saddledome will be ready for season

Saturday, 06.22.2013 / 6:40 PM
John Kreiser  - NHL.com Columnist

The first eight rows of Scotiabank Saddledome are covered by water, but Calgary Flames president Ken King said the building will be ready when the puck drops for the 2013-14 NHL season in October.

"We are going to be ready for the start of the season," King said Saturday during a press conference to discuss the damage to the 30-year-old arena from floods throughout Alberta that forced the evacuation of about 100,000 people and caused three deaths, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

But getting the building ready to go won't be easy. The Saddledome "is a total loss at the event level," King said, and the arena has been flooded with millions of gallons of water.

"We cleared some of our event level, but not all of it," he said.

King said restoration efforts will begin when the flood waters recede.

"We are ready to go," he said. "Our executive group met this morning and went through a number of tasks. We're ordering everything, including hockey equipment, right now.

"It's very difficult to describe millions, millions gallons of water sitting [in the Saddledome]."

The dressing rooms, Jumbotron control, ice plant, Zambonis, rink and at least two lounges -- as well as thousands of seats -- are underwater. However, "We're fairly confident that we're structurally intact," said Libby Raines, the team's vice president of building operations.

The water is starting to recede, Raines said, and "Our objective is to get the building [ready] for upcoming events ... get everything ready so that we're ready to go [for the season]."

The Flames have told team personnel to stay away from the building, and Raines said that though the team is grateful for offers of assistance it's urging people to stay away because the site isn't safe.

"We appreciate that so many people want to help," she said. "[Right now], please stay away from the site."

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