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Edmonton officials pass framework for new arena

Posted on: April 6, 2011 1:36 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 2:01 am


Edmonton's city council took the first steps toward a new arena for the Oilers, passing a motion that will reportedly allow city planners to enter into negotiations with the franchise's ownership group.

“There’s a lot of work still to do, but if we get this right, there could be huge payoff to the center of our city,” councilman Ben Henderson told the Edmonton Sun after the motion was passed Wednesday evening. “We’d be looking a gifthorse in the mouth not to take advantage of that.”

There are seventeen conditions (seen here via CHED-AM's Dan Tencer) that need to be met in order for the project to move forward. 

The council heard several hours of discussion before the vote took place. Team owner Daryl Katz is pushing for a new $450 million arena. It would be part of a plan to help revitalize the downtown area in Edmonton -- and possibly be needed to keep the team in town.

But as of now, there have been hangups over who will pay for a new arena. Katz has said he would offer $100 million toward the project and a proposal has called for an arena tax and a levy on nearby businesses to help cover the costs. But there's still a gap for all the finances.

As we have seen in stadium and arena battles across all sports -- In the NBA with Seattle and most recently Sacramento, plus rumblings around the New York Islanders -- that can lead to a rough fight and sincerely sad turn of events. Because, as the Edmonton mayor has already warned, not replacing Rexall Place could leave the Oilers drilling elsewhere down the line.

Rexall Place originally opened in 1974 and has undergone renovations since, most recently in 2007-08 when $3.5 million were put toward updating the locker rooms and player lounges. The last thing anybody wants to see is another one of the Canadian teams leaving a hockey hotbed, joining Winnipeg and Quebec on the emmigrant list.

-- Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images
Category: NHL
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 7:27 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: April 8, 2011 5:39 pm

Edmonton officials pass framework for new arena


Actually, that's not true--  Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment fought it a lot harder.

Because you see, if Hamilton got an NHL team, naturally Toronto would want one too.  :>).

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:19 am

Edmonton officials pass framework for new arena

And you can't brag about Buffalo selling out, considering they rely on a lot of the Canadian population crossing the boarder to sell tickets because they can't get tickets to the Leafs.  Buffalo was the team most worried about Hamilton getting a team.  Wonder why?

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:14 am

Edmonton officials pass framework for new arena


Edmonton was a team in cap trouble last year.  So yes they did spend.  The reason they didn't this year has noothing to do with not wanting to compete.  They said coming into the year that their goal was to blow the whole team up and start over (including the coaching and training staff).  Part of that process included keeping a lot of young guys around adn giving them as much ice time as possible so they could both evaluate and develope the young players.  Bringing in some high priced free agents would take away from what they were trying to accomplish.

And they paid Sheldon Souray over 5 million to play on someone else's farm team to avoid having what they viewed as a bad influence aroudn their young players.  So it's not about not wanting to spend money.  It's about the plan for the future and what they feel is the best way to get there.  The team's management was very upfront with the fan base and season ticket holders coming into the season about whet they were planning, doing and what the fans should expect (a couple more very bad years) as they this approach to rebuilding.

Thowing money at players to try and win has not really proven to be a succesful game plan.  Teams like Chicago and Pittburgh that built through the draft have seen a better result than teams like Calgary and New York that spend money and try to buy a championship.

Since: Mar 1, 2008
Posted on: April 7, 2011 1:49 am

Edmonton officials discussing plans for new arena

Couldn't agree more...bringing the NHL back to cities that care about hockey such as Winnepeg and Quebec City would energise the NHL...with the Can Dollar trading through the US Dollar it has to make economic sense too...

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: April 7, 2011 12:45 am

Edmonton officials discussing plans for new arena

PS...Toronto , Montreal , Calgary & Ottawa have a larger population than Edmonton...not sure why the city comes to anyones mind when they think of Canada, anyone who says this must not be Canadian....Even Winnipeg, Missisauga,Hamilton & Quebec City are close in population to Edmonton...all of which could , if not already could house an NHL team. Quebec is going to build a new arena, Winnipeg has, and Hamilton would......move some of these money losing, lame duck American franchise to REAL hockey markets....

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: April 7, 2011 12:41 am

Edmonton officials discussing plans for new arena

The Edmonton Oilers are not, and will not be going anywhere.No reason to write a big paragraph of pointless things....I just know the city, the fans are behind them...why would they go anywhere? Where would they go? Another failed American market? Please, stop with the scare tactics..... Only reason Winnipeg & Quebec don't have teams right now is because the Canadian dollar was crap at the time....Edmonton is not Sacramento, nor is it Seattle & this isn't the NBA... Hopefully people from all over will go this new arena, a quick look on wikipedia says that dowtown Edmonton only has 11,000 residents. , Hell...get even 11,000 a game & thats a 1000 more on average than the Islanders, & not far off from Columbus,Phoenix,Anahiem,New Jersey,Colorado ...why aren't any of these clubs being moved?

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: April 6, 2011 6:56 pm

Edmonton officials discussing plans for new arena

with all due respect to Edmonton fans, selling out a stadium that seats 16,839 when your population exceeds a mil isn't exactly saying much.  Yes indeed they do watch bad hockey, but you can only read into sellouts to a certain degree.  My failure to understand this team comes from teh fact of it's appearance of not wanting to spend to compete.  I live in Buffalo where if possible we would have 16839 season ticket holders(the management caps it at 15k), and Buffalo is a small market city that still outspends this team.  When I think of Canada, I think of Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto....when I think of cities of a million or more, I think they should be able to afford the cap or at least within 5 mil of it.  Spending under 50 mil when the cap is near 60 is an injustice to the city, and rather than talk about losing the team to the city, there should be more talk about losing the ownership

Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: April 6, 2011 6:01 pm

Edmonton officials discussing plans for new arena

Those fans deserve a new stadium for packing that place night in and night out to watch a bad, yet young and hopeful hockey team.  I believe they've sold out every game this year.

Since: Mar 1, 2008
Posted on: April 6, 2011 5:20 pm

Edmonton officials discussing plans for new arena

Keeping a team in town has f all to do with winning records and success...that's a very naive's all about the fanbase...and on both a commercial and hockey interest basis, Edmonton ranks right up there as a hockey city...with you ignorant/simple view, teams end up in in places like Phoenix where  few natives care about the game and as a result the franchise has no longevity.   

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