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Edmonton arena vote delayed due to funding shortfall

May 8, 2013, 2:07 PM EDT

Edmonton arena

Edmonton city councilors want to know how a $55 million shortfall will be made up before voting on a plan to build a $480 million downtown arena to house the Oilers.

Which seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? Knowing where the money is coming from before committing to spend it? When have politicians ever kicked the can down the road? OK, maybe don’t answer that.

“I realize Edmontonians would like this settled,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel, per “In front of us today is not a solution. We need to come back for this council to vote on something that can be voted ‘yes’ or ‘no.'”

The city has been adamant it won’t put any more into the deal. The problem is, the province has also been adamant it won’t directly fund the arena, and the Oilers don’t want to up their contribution either.

So for now, it’s a bit of a stand-off.

It’ll get done though. No politician wants to pay the price that would be attached to failure.

  1. atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Katz is worth $2 billion you would think $55 million, in a deal where the city is paying a huge chunk of the bill, would be something he could easily cover.

    • jcmeyer10 - May 8, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      The key word is “he”. Rich owners have time and again, across my sports, proven they want not to spend their money, but that of the tax payers.

      • thenewraoulduke - May 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        yeah but the way that people get rich is by not spending there own money. Sucks but it sucks even more that people let them get away with it.

  2. drewsylvania - May 8, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    They’re all too willing to make taxpayers pat for both their “successes” and their failures, though.

    • drewsylvania - May 8, 2013 at 6:10 PM


  3. hockeyflow33 - May 8, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    It would be nice to see some sort of contingency that when taxpayer money is given, the team is required to stay in the city for the useful life of the stadium. I think it would make it easier to swallow the city’s payment because they would have a guaranteed revenue stream for X amount of years.

    • killerpgh - May 8, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      It seems like most teams sign a 30 year lease agreement when moving into a new arena. 30 years seems to be the life of these new state of the arts arena before they new replaced or major renovations. So it seems like most teams are signing a comment for the life of the building or are paying a big fee to break the lease early unless some term is the lease is not met.

      • hockeyflow33 - May 8, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        I could be wrong but I believe in that instance they are only beholden to the owner of the arena. Whereas in my ideal world, the city would then have some minority interest or ability to object to a move so that teams stay in their cities.
        It will never happen but I think it would make it easier for people to rationalize a tax increase.

  4. rockyspond - May 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Just FYI hockeyflow33, Katz is signing a 35 year location commitment in this deal.

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