SUN Hockey Pool

Flames set to open sports entertainment spectacle

PABLO FERNANDEZ, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:18 PM ET

The instances are rare when Calgary Flames boss Ken King has trouble getting his point across, but as he spoke today about the grand opening of the franchise’s new sports bar, words eluded him.

But who needs words to describe Flames Central when none will do, said King of what he promises is a venue that will defy description and surpass all expectations.

Although the grand opening Thursday will be by invitation only, doors will swing open to the public on Saturday, he said.

“It’s a sports and entertainment venue on a scale that I certainly have never seen in North America, maybe anywhere,” said King.

“I don’t need to search for adjectives to describe it because it will exceed any adjectives or any description that I can conceivably put together.”

Located at the site of the old Palace Theatre, Flames Central is a perfect marriage between the old building’s architecture and history, and the kind of cutting edge technology that will leave Calgarians in awe, said King.

The venue sports 150 screens and a video system that can route programming to the gigantic main screens, ship a different signal to the sub-main screens and something else entirely to televisions that rise out of the restaurant’s tables, he said.

And Central’s secondary sound system surpasses most other venues’ primary systems, said King.

“The technology package, I don’t think it’s an embellishment in any way, to say that no one will have seen this kind of technology before,” he said.

Artwork in different media will showcase Flames history, while custom lighting will add flare, said King.

Flames Central is a multi-faceted, three-storey venue that will include a semi-formal restaurant called Wildfire Grill, private suites and conference rooms.

The project took longer than expected to complete and came in over budget, but the end product will be worth the wait and the cash, said King.


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