The Flames have outgrown Calgary — and the stars are aligning for a sale to Houston

Eric Francis: We’ll reach the point in this game of chicken where the logical solution is to sell — to owners in Houston, Quebec City or elsewhere

As if the arena impasse with the mayor isn’t enough of an impetus to prompt Flames ownership to look into selling the team, Gary Bettman just gave the group 150 million more reasons to package the team up for Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta.

That’s how much the NHL commissioner added to the value of every NHL team last week when he bumped the price tag of a possible expansion team in Seattle to $650 million, from the $500 million Vegas paid.

Don’t be fooled by the $430 million Forbes estimated the team to be worth last month – the Flames wouldn’t sell for a dime less than the newly-pegged cost of starting a franchise from scratch. (Minus sizeable NHL transfer fees, of course.)

After all, there’s far more value in acquiring a team with proven, marketable superstars like Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and backed by a solid team and front office that knows the business inside out.

Fact is, we’ll eventually reach the point in this dangerous game of chicken that the most logical solution may just be to sell.

It certainly is the easiest.

After all, it’s only worth the two-thirds of a billion dollars if you sell it.

It’s worth a fraction of that in Calgary, where the political and business climate is such that the reality may just be that the Calgary Flames have outgrown this town.

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