The Saddledome's days are numbered. Calgary has needed a new arena for a while now, even before the June 2013 floods. Still, despite Edmonton's rather public new arena process, there has been next to no news about what's in store for Calgary: not even what it will look like.
While we still don't know much, thanks to a segment on the Jan. 21 episode of Daily Planet, we might have an idea of what to expect. Shoutout to Two Fivenagame on CalgaryPuck for finding this.
The segment's about innovational architecture, but you can skip ahead to about the 4:00 minute mark to see where the Flames come in. Here's a GIF created by sureLoss of CP to show off the relevant parts:
Basically: it's a building that is "dynamic" and "able to change states", according to Brian Mirakian of Populous, a group that has built numerous stadiums and arenas in the past, including the newest NHL arena: the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, which opened in 2010.
The above GIF shows the ceiling of a possible new Flames arena changing from a venue suitable for a hockey game to one for a concert. One of the biggest complaints about the 'Dome is the fact that so many musical acts skip it due to the challenges the saddle-shaped roof presents. This changing ceiling may give us the best of both worlds: a unique shape iconic for the western city Calgary is, and a building acts won't skip.
Now, there's nothing official about this - the rendering could just be Populous bidding for the Flames' services - but it'd be pretty damn cool if this ends up happening.
Speaking on a personal note, on Populous' NHL resume are the XCel Energy Center (Minnesota), the CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh), and the Prudential Center (New Jersey): the three most recent arenas to host the draft, and three arenas I've been to. And let me just say: they are gorgeous. They're very roomy (imagine a world where you can walk freely on the concourse!), they allow for a lot of natural light, they have escalators! Escalators are fun! If Populous ends up working on Calgary's new arena, we'll probably be getting something really, really good.