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SBD/July 17, 2012/Facilities
Oilers Arena Project Running Over Budget, Alberta Hesitant To Chip In Extra Funds
Published July 17, 2012
MONEY TALKS: The NATIONAL POST's Jen Gerson notes the latest estimates to be presented to city council today suggest the project "could actually run to C$485-million -- unless changes are made to keep costs down." The project has "garnered almost unceasing scrutiny since it was proposed; the municipal government has agreed to a proposal that would see it foot much of the bill for the arena, although it remains short C$100-million in financing, with the province so far unwilling to chip in" (NATIONAL POST, 7/17).
IF YOU BUILD IT...: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Ebner noted Katz and Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel "believe the arena is an essential one-of-a-kind spark for the city's downtown, a draw for people, real-estate development and a font of new property taxes." They "want to replicate the downtown arena districts in places such as Los Angeles." Critics of the Edmonton arena deal "look at Katz's on-paper wealth and wonder why he can't just build an arena himself." Katz said that Edmontonians "underappreciate the money he has spent, and has committed." Katz: "I'm a builder. I can't say I really would have been interested in buying the team at all, but for the opportunity, through the team, to do such a transformational thing for the city, and also sustain the team, and sustain the NHL, and build a new arena, and revitalize the city. It was the whole kind of thing that was really attractive to me. I didn't have a burning desire to own a hockey team" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/14).