Calgary Flames’ Red Lot closed for away games, no official viewing area for fans

While the Saddledome and Red Lot were packed for Flames home games, they’ll both sit empty during away games. Jillian Code reports on how fans can still take in the game.

More than 20,000 Calgary Flames fans packed the Saddledome and Red Lot for the first two games of the team’s playoff run, but when the team isn’t playing in Calgary, there’s no official viewing area for fans to cheer from.

Karim Kurji, CEO of hockey website The Win Column, says there is a different atmosphere when fans are gathered at the Red Lot, and it’s a lot easier to get swept up in the excitement of the game.

“They need all the help they can get right now,” Kurji said. “The more fans that we have in the building, around the building, cheering them on, I think that helps a lot.”

Red Lot is used to host playoff viewing parties for the Calgary Flames

Red Lot is used to host playoff viewing parties for the Calgary Flames (Photo: National Hockey League, Calgary Flames)

Up the road, the Edmonton Oilers opened up Rogers Place for away games, with just under 13,000 fans watching the game on the arena’s big screen.

“We like to look up north and say ‘hey, how can we be better?’ and I think that just saying ‘you know what, we’re gonna show the game on the jumbotron and make tickets available, let fans come out,’ I think that would go a long way,” Kurji said.

Fans have asked the Flames why the Red Lot isn’t open for away games, with the Flames’ Twitter account saying it’s because of “prior commitments in and around Stampede Park.”

While Flames fans can’t congregate in the Red Lot for away games, there are plenty of businesses along 17th Avenue SW eager to be the unofficial viewing area for the fans.

McKenna White, marketing and brand manager for Trolley 5, says the Flames’ playoff run has been good for business.

“We want to be full, and we have been, like even for home versus away games, we are full,” White said.


Trolley 5 is located in the heart of the Red Mile, and it’s consistently been at capacity with a line out the door.

“We did a lot of hiring prior to the playoffs, and we’re training our team ready for the summer kickoff, and we have about 90 per cent of our staff working for all the Flames games,” White said.

Local businesses are hoping for a long playoff run to keep fans coming in.

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