SBD/December 7, 2012/Facilities

Edmonton City Council Member: Oilers' Katz Needs To Reach Arena Deal Soon

Edmonton city council members will receive an update on negotiations next Wednesday
Edmonton City Council member Bryan Anderson said that Oilers Owner Daryl Katz "probably has until March to reach an arena deal with the city before it becomes a 'full-blown election issue,'" according to a front-page piece by Gordon Kent of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. Anderson "thinks the council chosen next October could have fewer backers for the project than the current group, and a majority might even oppose it." He said, "If anybody on that (Katz) side of the table is waiting for a new mayor or new council, they’re probably sadly mistaken." Anderson added, "I think this is the most sympathetic mayor and sympathetic council that an NHL team could have ... I’m not sure you’re going to get that kind of support on a new council." Kent notes city council members are "scheduled to have their first update on the arena Wednesday since they voted unanimously to end negotiations with Katz in October" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12/7). In Edmonton, Julia Parrish wrote some council members "aren't optimistic a plan will be laid out before the New Year." It appears "not much has changed since" the October vote (EDMONTON.CTVNEWS.ca, 12/6). Meanwhile, an EDMONTON JOURNAL editorial was written with the header, "Oilers No Longer The Toast Of The Town." The editorial stated, "It is that waning devotion for Canada’s game that should most alarm both sides in the ongoing labour dispute. ... Beer and hockey are hard habits to break, but it’s happening out there. The NHL and its players ignore that at their peril" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12/5).
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