In Edmonton, Angelique Rodrigues reports as the city prepares to talk about the proposed Oilers downtown arena, "once again one councillor isn’t convinced officials will be able to wrangle the project’s finances back under budget.” If officials “don’t come back with a complete funding model, Coun. Linda Sloan says it could force the city to take a step back from the project.” Sloan on Thursday said, “If the funding is not complete, in my opinion, we shouldn’t be proceeding. I think it is possible at any point to say we aren’t going forward with it” (EDMONTON SUN, 7/6).
EXTREME MAKEOVER: ISC President John Saunders said Daytona Int'l Speedway’s renovation project "would be a game-changer for the industry.” Saunders: “We think the industry needs that, and that should happen at the industry's top-flight brand." ISC execs confirmed that the project “was not speculative, but reiterated that it was still in the conceptual stages and that multiple factors could delay or abort it.” In Daytona Beach, Tom Knox notes “obtaining credit in a difficult lending environment, future media-rights agreements and whether the company can sell its Staten Island property all could play a part in determining the project's fate.” The renovation project could “increase the Speedway's ability to generate revenue, both through the addition of more food and merchandise booths in the grandstand area as well as improved amenities for hosting corporate events.” ISC Senior VP & CFO Dan Houser said that DIS "needs to be more convenient for fans looking to buy products by allowing fans to take fewer steps to get what they want” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 7/6).
CHANNELING HIS CREATIVE SIDE: In Tampa, Jamal Thalji noted Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik “doesn't just plan to remake Channelside Bay Plaza,” he plans to make the “troubled development more pedestrian-friendly; add retail and possibly a hotel to bring in more visitors; and link it to the Tampa Bay Times Forum and Florida Aquarium to turn the Channelside district into a seamless waterside entertainment area linked to Tampa's Riverwalk, the 2.2 mile waterfront walkway.” Vinik and his partners are “negotiating with the Anglo Irish Bank of Dublin to take over the 234,520-square-foot structure.” Their plans are “just ideas and concepts at this stage,” as they are “not firm and have not been made public.” But they were “shown to the Tampa Port Authority's governing board,” which Hillsborough County (Fla.) Commissioner Sandra Murman sits on (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 7/4).