In Edmonton, Elise Stolte notes the city council “voted to approve the final funding deal and move ahead" on the proposed Oilers downtown arena Wednesday after the Katz Group "volunteered an additional" $15M. The vote “passed 10 to 3,” with a matching $15M to “be paid by the city through an increase to the community revitalization levy.” Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel said that he “expects to break ground by early next year” (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 5/16).
PART TWO: In New Orleans, Terrance Harris reported the “interior construction being done to upgrade the New Orleans Arena has been under way since May 1, and all indications are that the work will come in right at the budgeted amount.” But that “doesn't appear to be the case for phase two of the project, which is the exterior work.” SMG Senior VP/Stadiums & Arenas Doug Thornton “informed the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District Board during Wednesday's monthly meeting that the second part of the project will have to be revised" after coming between $5-7M "over the expected budget.” Thornton said that he has “already begun meeting with the contractors and members" of the Pelicans staff to "discuss ways of revising the design of the planned exterior lobby” (NOLA.com, 5/15).
FINDING VALUE: Travis Central Appraisal District Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler yesterday said that Circuit of the Americas “will have an assessed tax value of slightly more than" $290M for '13. In Austin, John Maher notes the appraisal “could result in a tax bill for the circuit of more than” $7.8M. The appraisal for the circuit “includes 20 parcels covering 1,303 acres, 515 of which qualified for agricultural or wildlife valuation.” Appraisers “determined the market value of the property to be” $298M. Circuit officials recently “placed the cost of the project at anywhere from” $400M to as much as $450M (AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, 5/16).
TRACKING THE UPGRADES: BLOODHORSE’s Tracy Gantz noted Santa Anita Park on Tuesday “unveiled renovation plans for its turf club and clubhouse at a community meeting held in the track's Chandelier Room.” Many of the renovations are “slated to be completed in time for the track's fall meeting, which begins Sept. 25, and its hosting of the Nov. 1-2 Breeders' Cup World Championships at the track in Arcadia, Calif.” Plans include an “update for the Chandelier Room,” as well as the “creation of a couple of banquet rooms that will overlook the track.” Those areas encompass some of what The Stronach Group California Operations Chair Keith Brackpool, whose company owns Santa Anita, called "underutilized areas." The cost of the renovations was not revealed (BLOODHORSE.com, 5/15).