ICON Venue Group Named Project Manager For New Downtown Oilers Arena
ICON Venue Group yesterday was named project manager for the Oilers' new downtown arena and the company is "now tasked with seeing the project through to completion, though for now the goal is to work toward finishing 60% of the arena’s schematic design," according to Michelle Thompson of the EDMONTON SUN. When that is done, "arena plans will return to [the Edmonton city] council with a guaranteed maximum price." The council is "expected to be presented with a 12% schematic design in June and will receive the 60% design in about a year." The arena design "will boast 18,400 seats." In the past 10 years, ICON has "managed nine other new arenas, including ones in Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Denver." The Oilers' arena was initially estimated to cost about C$450M. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel said that 360 Architecture "would be doing the design work," but Downtown Sports & Entertainment District Project Exec Dir Rick Daviss said that "that aspect is still in negotiations" (EDMONTON SUN, 1/17). In Edmonton, Elise Stolte notes architects with 360 "designed projects in Kansas City and Columbus, Ohio, which have frequently served as examples of what Edmonton's combined arena and entertainment district could look like." 360 expects to "release introductory sketches of how the interior of the arena could function within days." ICON CEO Tim Romani said that the full budget for the project "must be in place by March or April 2013 to sign construction contracts and finish the arena in time for the 2015-16 hockey season." Stolte also notes ICON was chosen "out of 12 shortlisted companies" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 1/17).
LIGHTNING STRIKES? In Tampa Bay, Jeff Harrington cited Lightning officials as saying that Owner Jeff Vinik "has been approached and is considering taking a stake in the long-troubled Channelside entertainment complex that lies adjacent" to Tampa Bay Times Forum. Lightning CEO & Minority Owner Tod Leiweke said that a "number of potential buyers are looking 'and they think we would be a good marketing partner' given the team's proximity to Channelside." Harrington noted one "recurring rumor is that a dual sports deal could occur, whereby Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg would buy the New York Mets and sell the Rays to Vinik, who would then relocate the Rays from St. Petersburg to his newly acquired Channelside territory." It is "chatter the Lightning hopes to squelch." Lightning Exec VP/Communications Bill Wickett said, "Our organization enjoys a strong friendship with the Tampa Bay Rays and we look forward to deepening those bonds. We wish them continued success on and off the field, but any speculation that we are interested in anything more is unfounded and untrue" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/13).