The real big difference was the relative cost.The two aren't exactly comparable. One is a 70,000 seat stadium built for the summer Olympics, the other is an NHL size arena built for the relatively small-time winter Olympics. Big difference.
Saddledome: $98 million, or about $200 million in today's dollars:
Big O: $770 million, or about $3 billion in today's dollars.
The Big O was a complete disaster.