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Edmonton city council approves new Oilers arena

Oct 26, 2011, 8:48 PM EDT

Thrashers Oilers Hockey AP

If the Consol Energy Center was the house that Crosby and Malkin built, then the Edmonton Oilers’ arena will be the house that Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins built.

OK, it will really just another arena primarily built by taxpayers’ money, but that’s just the sad state of affairs in much of modern sports.

Edmonton’s city council approved the arena by a 10-3 margin, according to CBC News. Oilers owner Daryl Katz will pay $30 million of the $100 million he owes up front, which is just 25 percent of the total estimated costs of the new arena.

City councilor Don Iveson shared a rather stark take on the deal.

“This deal … flows from our weak negotiating position, weakened by the fear of losing the team. A fear, I think, is irrational and a bluff I might call,” he said.

Meanwhile, Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel called it a “watershed moment” for the city, which one can assume doesn’t reference taxypayers being taken behind the watershed.

All griping about the business of sports aside, the Oilers will stay in Edmonton and are likely to create a lot of joy once the new arena is built. They’re already improving as we speak, but much like the Penguins, the Oilers are likely to be a contending team once the new building is up and running. That will require some wise decision making along the way, but Katz & Co. just cleared what might be the biggest hurdle of them all – with a big boost from the city, of course.

  1. sknut - Oct 26, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    Good for Edmonton. It’s sad how these work, but its reality and might as well face it and make a positive for the community. Now if they can keep that Hall kid from going to the arch enemy Flames they will be all set. ( )

  2. nhlbruins90 - Oct 26, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    Wouldn’t it be something if Hall and RNH decided to skip town just as the new taxpayer funded palace was about to open. See ya later suckers, we’re off to New York, LA, Toronto or wherever the biggest paycheck is. Whatever, it’s their money, they can spend it on whatever they like. If they want to subsidize multi-millionaires, they certainly can do that.

  3. bcjim - Oct 27, 2011 at 7:12 AM

    Will it be ready for tonights Caps game??

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