Riggers steamed at Flames

Ian Busby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:30 AM ET

EDMONTON - CALGARY — It turns out a terse news release accomplished what Brad Banister hoped it would.

After his Calgary Roughnecks secured a home playoff date by winning in Denver on Friday night, the National Lacrosse League franchise owner issued a statement outlining how unhappy he was over the May 1 start time of 1 p.m. at the Saddledome.

Banister’s phone was ringing Saturday morning but, after a heated discussion with Calgary Flames brass, the Riggers owner is happy with how it went.

The Flames sympathized with Banister’s situation and the revenue loss an afternoon date would have for the Riggers, who will host the Edmonton Rush.

“I did get assurances from the Flames they would work hard at trying to figure out the problem and hopefully make an adjustment,” Banister said.

“Barring that, they will help with marketing. I’m happy I got a response and they seem to understand it was kind of unreasonable.”

Due to the Calgary Hitmen hosting Games 1 and 2 of the WHL final Friday and Saturday and a Simon and Garfunkel concert on Sunday, the Riggers were slotted into Saturday afternoon.

The Hitmen can’t open Thursday because the WHL draft is in Edmonton that day.

On Friday night just minutes after the Riggers beat the Colorado Mammoth 11-10 to secure second place in the West Division, a team release went out with some harsh words.

“How does a taxpayers’ building fall into the hands of self-proclaimed billionaires? The Flames should build their own arena,” Banister said in the statement.

“I am disgusted. I grew up in this city. I went to school here, I have businesses here, and I’m the lowest person on the totem pole as far as the Flames are concerned.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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