Screenshot / The Discovery Channel / Populous A screenshot of the animation that appears to depict a Calgary Flames logo at centre ice and Flames players on the simulated Jumbotron.

Speculation is running rampant that the Calgary Flames are working with a leading international sports-architecture firm on a new home for the team after a video depicting a futuristic arena design aired on a popular science TV show.

A recent broadcast of ‘Daily Planet’ on The Discovery Channel featured an animation of a “transforming stadium” concept as part of a segment on new construction techniques. (Here is a link to the video; skip to the four-minute mark for the relevant part.)

The animation depicts the interior of a hockey arena with a large Calgary Flames logo at centre ice. At points, the simulated Jumbotron above the ice also appears to show video of Calgary Flames players.

The broadcast credits the animation to Populous, an architecture firm that has designed eight current NHL arenas, including the Consol Energy Centre in Pittsburgh and Pepsi Center in Denver.

Populous spokesperson Annie Hellweg told Metro the animation was a “preliminary concept” and “wasn’t necessarily particular to plans in any specific area.”

When asked why a Flames logo, in particular, would be used in the animation, Hellweg said she would look into it further, but then did not return subsequent calls Wednesday.

Calgary Flames vice-president communications Peter Hanlon said only team president Ken King could comment on the matter, but King was not available Wednesday.

Kent Wilson of FlamesNation.ca said the inclusion of the trademarked Flames logo in the animation is telling.

“I work in marketing and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that was a presentation they were working on with the Flames,” he said. “Usually you brand things like that with the brand you’re working with.”

If this animation does represent a partnership between the Calgary Flames and Populous, it wouldn’t be the first time guarded information leaked out digitially this season.

The Flames had intended to reveal the team’s alternate jersey for the current season on Oct. 27, 2013, but the design came out ahead of time after gamers discovered it was part of a roster update for EA Sports’ NHL 14, released weeks earlier.

– with files from Bryan Weismiller

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