'What an out-of-touch tweet to send': Nenshi responds to online barb from Flames staffer

Nenshi says Calgary could look to Seattle, New York for arena solutions

Not everyone was happy about Naheed Nenshi being re-elected to a third term as Calgary's mayor Monday night — including some members of the Calgary Flames organization, which recently broke off talks with the city regarding construction of a new arena for the NHL team.

Sean Kelso, director of communications and media relations for the Flames, voiced his ire on Twitter soon after the results were made public, saying Nenshi being re-elected mayor is worse than Donald Trump being president of the United States.

The tweet was deleted minutes later, but not before being captured and shared widely on social media.

The Flames issued a statement Tuesday morning, saying that was simply Kelso's personal opinion and it didn't reflect the team's position.

"We feel very strongly that our staff are entitled to their own personal opinions on political issues and otherwise, and, in fact, is their democratic right," read the emailed statement from Peter Hanlon, vice-president of communications for the team.

"We would not interfere with that right. Notwithstanding the above, those individuals and opinions are not to be misinterpreted as representing the corporate position of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC)."

Nenshi was asked about the tweet during an appearance on CBC's Calgary Eyeopener on Tuesday and said Kelso isn't the only member of CSEC — which owns the Flames — who has launched online attacks against him.

"I have no idea who this person this is, I've never met him, and boy, what an out-of-touch tweet to send," he said.

"If you really want to have some fun, check out one of the senior VPs of CSEC's Twitter feed for the last several weeks. Nasty personal attacks on me, retweeting weird, right-wing websites, making no secret of the fact they wanted to get rid of me."

Nenshi was referring to Gordon Norrie, the vice-president of sports properties and marketing with CSEC, who was vocal on social media during the run-up to the election in his support for mayoral challenger Bill Smith, the second place finisher in Monday night's vote.

Nenshi added things could be a little awkward should the Calgary Stampeders — also owned by CSEC — win the Grey Cup in the coming weeks, but he is still open to continuing negotiations.

"Everyone has got their own opinion, they're allowed to do that," he said. "It's going to make it a little uncomfortable when I'm there helping the Stamps lift the Grey Cup next month, but it is what it is. Basically, as I've said from the very beginning on this issue, the city has never left the table. We're not going to leave the table. And it really is up to Calgary Sports and Entertainment on what kind of a conversation they want to have going forward.

"I don't anticipate I'm going to get any phone calls from [NHL commissioner Gary] Bettman or [CSEC president Ken] King today or next week or the week after. But maybe some months from now they'll find that they're ready to come back and have a conversation with us."

King announced in September that the team had ended negotiations around a new arena with the city following an NHL owners meeting, describing negotiations up to that point as "spectacularly unproductive."

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