Edmonton, January 23, 2013 – City Council today approved a new framework for a $480-million arena to be owned by the City of Edmonton, and operated by the Katz Group, owner of the Edmonton Oilers.
“I am pleased that we have been able to reach an understanding that is both competitive and reasonable, and will sustain NHL hockey in Edmonton long-term,” says Mayor Stephen Mandel. “Edmonton is one of the best hockey markets in the NHL. A new downtown arena built under this framework is a first-rate commitment by the City to our downtown and to the game and to the team we love.”
The framework closely resembles the elements Council approved in October 2011, but includes the following changes:
• The additional $30-million for the arena over the previous framework will be split between the City and the Katz Group.
• The LRT connection, solely funded by the City, has been reduced from $17-million to $7-million.
• Katz Group will pay for the slightly increased costs of the Wintergarden.
• The balance of the elements – pedestrian corridor, arena land, and community rink – are projected to remain at the same cost as previously estimated. The total cost of the project will be $601-million, an increase of $23-million over previous projections.
Under the new framework, the City will own the arena and land, and the Katz Group will pay all operating costs and receive all revenues.
City administration also presented Council with 2 alternative designs: one with a pedestrian link over 104 Avenue instead of the Wintergarden, and the second with no pedestrian link or Wintergarden. Neither of these options included a private sector partner or confirmed tenant.
The city’s financial analysis showed that the municipal contribution would be similar for all options.
“The option recommended guarantees an NHL tenant, shares costs with a private company, and keeps the Oilers in Edmonton for the long term,” says City Manager Simon Farbrother.
Construction for the new arena is expected to start in late summer to early fall, with completion in 2016. Further developments on the project will be posted to edmonton.ca/downtownarena.
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