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SBD/October 18, 2012/Facilities
Edmonton City Council Votes To End Arena Talks With Oilers Owner Daryl Katz
Published October 18, 2012
NOT GIVING UP: In Edmonton, Angelique Rodrigues reports City Council member Amarjeet Sohi supported the motion to end negotiations with Katz, but Sohi "hopes it doesn’t send a message to Edmontonians that council has given up on the arena deal." Sohi: "My concern is it will send the message that council is breaking off negotiations because that isn’t the case. Negotiations were stopped by The Katz Group" (EDMONTON SUN, 10/18). Also in Edmonton, Paula Simons notes all 13 council members voted to "direct city administration to 'explore potential avenues' and to report back on 'the status of the City’s current, transferable investments in a potential downtown arena project.'" Simons: "Translation? Bureaucrats have been told to investigate the possibility of cutting the Katz Group out of the deal altogether, and letting the city finance, build and operate the arena on its own." City Council members yesterday "showed true political leadership." They "refused to be blackmailed," or to be "held hostage." Council members also "refused to cave into Katz's latest vague and secret demands" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 10/18). An EDMONTON SUN survey asked, "Who should be held most accountable for the downtown arena debacle?" Katz received 46% of the vote, "equal blame for all" received 34% and Mandel received a 5% tally. The survey also asked if the city should "build its own downtown arena," with 82% voting yes and 18% voting no (EDMONTONSUN.com, 10/17).