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SBD/October 27, 2011/Facilities
Edmonton City Council Approves New Downtown Oilers Arena
Published October 27, 2011
COMMUNITY PRIDE: An EDMONTON JOURNAL editorial states, “This far-sighted bit of risk-taking by Mayor Stephen Mandel’s council and Oilers owner Daryl Katz has great promise of playing a key role in transforming Edmonton’s downtown, securing this energy capital’s long-term future.” A significant number of residents “feel the city is contributing too much and Katz too little to the project.” The belief is that “all Edmontonians will benefit -- from the economic spinoffs boosting the tax base, from the proliferation of non-hockey entertainment options that they will use, from the greater future attractiveness of Edmonton as a place to live and from the fact that NHL hockey will now be guaranteed to remain a key part of the community pride for at least the next 35 years” (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 10/27). In Edmonton, Staples, Simons & MacKinnon write, “Some days, we get it right in Edmonton. We set aside our civic anxieties, our perpetual differences.” After careful consideration and heated debate, “we find consensus, then push forward with gusto.” On Wednesday, “that’s what Edmonton city council did.” This is “a good deal, far better than the existing Oilers deal at Rexall, and certainly right in line with what we see in terms of public/private funding models for new arenas in other NHL cities” (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 10/27).