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Edmonton officials cease negotiations for new Oilers arena

Oct 17, 2012, 7:15 PM EDT

Edmonton Oilers v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

Edmonton’s city council voted unanimously in favor of ceasing negotiations with Oilers ownership to build a new arena, according to Team 1260’s Mark Spector and other sources.

That might imply that the arena deal is totally dead, but there seems to be some confusing mixed signals, as many people including Inside Sports’ Dan Tencer indicate.

Council members discussed leaving the door open for future talks and even discussed the design of the arena right after deciding to cease negotiations.

It’s head-scratching stuff, unless you believe that it’s a rather dramatic way of sending Oilers owner Daryl Katz a message.

That seemed to be the case according to many comments, but Mayor Stephen Mandel’s quote to Edmonton Journal columnist David Staples could tell the real story.

“I think everybody is frustrated, council is frustrated, the public is frustrated,” Mandel said.

Beyond being frustrated over the specifics of the dealings, the city might also be upset because Katz has repeatedly refused to discuss matters before the council.

He most recently shot down today’s offer with a highly critical letter that also recommended Gary Bettman’s intervention.

(Bettman should already be in the groove when it comes to high-stakes, high-spin negotiations, after all.)

For even more on this increasingly tense subject, check out the Edmonton Journal’s report.

  1. lesbuckets - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    “It’s head-scratching stuff, unless you believe that it’s a rather dramatic way of sending Daryl Katz and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers’ ownership group a message”

    Is the message, “Start looking for other options!” or “We don’t appreciate your tone Mister!” ???

    Could go either way, but am I wrong in assuming that the organization holds most of the cards, considering they can pretty easily move to Seattle, where they would be welcomed with open arms or at least, easily threaten to do so?

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:12 PM

      There’s no way the NHL is allowing a fairly successful team to move especially when there’s several teams that are bleeding money.

      This whole thing is posturing, Katz did his tour of Seattle and now refuses to meet with council so council said fine we’ll pull the entire thing, but I’m sure behind the scenes people are making overtures, both sides will wise up and the arena deal will be done in 2-4 weeks.

  2. bubblehead22 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    They’d be very welcome in Seattle, we can’t wait for their arrival. I’m ready to buy my season tickets right now.

  3. csilojohnson - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Yes lets get Bettman involved. It’ll be the San Diego Oilers in no time.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      Not true! I just spoke with him and he’s committed to moving the Oilers to Phoenix. He is convinced the rivalry with the Coyotes will send attendance through the roof.

    • missthemexpos - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:31 PM

      Why stop at San Diego, why not the Tijuana Oilers!

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:56 AM

        That would definitely be a great place for the annual Winter Classic, though some whiners might consider a bullfighting ring a bit too small for a hockey game.

  4. stoolerz - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Why would any sports team want to move to that cesspool Seattle? They already lost their first pro baseball team the Pilots (to Milwaukee) and their NBA team (to Oklahoma City of all places). The weather is crap and so are the people.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      Your logic is why you will never have a job where you can afford to buy an NHL team. Seattle happens to be a larger NHL market than Minnesota, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Washington, Denver, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Carolina, Nashville, Buffalo. That’s just in the US. I’m willing to guess it’s bigger than Winnipeg.

      Also add in the fact they would move into a brand spanking new arena where the revenue options (which is what everyone wants) and move into an untapped market. Yeah I couldn’t see why they would want to leave Edmonton, I they don’t want to pony up the money for a new arena.

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