Calgary sold on Flames

TARINA WHITE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

Calgarians are gearing up to renew the Flames frenzy that swept Cowtown during the 2004 Stanley Cup campaign, snapping up team paraphernalia and running store inventories dry.

Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier said the economic benefit to the city extends well beyond the sale of jerseys and flags, estimating that the last playoffs hauled in millions for the city.

"It's a very positive financial impact for the city the longer they're in the playoffs," said Bronconnier, pointing to money spent at bars, retailers and hotels.

Having clinched the northwest division Thursday night and with just two regular season games remaining until the playoffs begin next week, avid fans are buying out Flames merchandise.

Downtown at the Fan Attic store in the Eaton Centre, there's a two-week waiting list for Flames jerseys, said store manager Tasha Cloutier.

"We just can't keep up," said Cloutier.

"Everything's going out of my store just as fast as I can get it in," she said.

Kathleen Burchell was among the disappointed fans unable to buy a jersey yesterday.

"I waited too long," lamented the 22-year-old, who instead picked out a red Flames hoodie.

Flames fans have also swamped the Canadian Tire store on Macleod Trail, said sporting goods manager Mat Knopp.

"We've completely sold out of all the jerseys we had," said Knopp, adding they've got another 200 on order.

Flames jerseys are still available at Sport Chek in Chinook Centre, but they're flying off the racks, said manager Robin McLellan.

"One of our biggest sellers this year has been the Flames jerseys," he said.


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