Edmonton City Council is currently meeting to determine whether or not to embrace Darryl Katz’s proposed new downtown arena/entertainment plans.
Discussion has plateaued in recent weeks, much of it fueled by leaks to the media about ongoing back-door discussions between Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and Katz, the Edmonton Oilers’ owner. Katz allegedly told Mandel that he had not verbally approved of the city’s possible plans to charge a ticket levy to raise some or all of the outstanding $125M required to build the estimated $450M arena project.
Katz has stepped up and offered $100M to the overall project’s price tag, but is also allegedly asking for a majority, if not all, of revenues generated from the arena, including hockey and entertainment-related moneys.
That position won’t fly with Edmonton council, and thus, the game of high-stakes poker with an NHL franchise’s future in the balance, continue.
Rhetoric, and not clear negotiating positions of both sides, remain the norm, with the public left scratching their collective heads, wondering if they’re tax bill is about to jump exorbitantly, yet again!
Interesting day in the Alberta capital. Stay tuned.
In the meantime Oiler fans, chins up, sticks down.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.