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Excellent arena, really nice job on the renovation. This is what needs to happen to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
 

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The folks in the upper deck are going to miss sitting that close to the ice...

The old world arenas have great character, but I can see why teams who play in them can't compete financially with the Montreal's and Toronto's of the league.
 

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City council approves Edmonton arena deal

It's a go: City council approves Edmonton arena deal

October 27, 2011

EDMONTON - The Oilers could be playing in a fancy new rink by 2015 after city council gave the go-ahead Wednesday to a $450-million arena intended to transform downtown Edmonton.

“I think it’s an incredible opportunity for us to redefine our city,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel, who has spent the last five years promoting the project.

“It’s always easy to say no … it’s courageous for council to say yes.”

While the Oilers won’t be able to leave their current home in Rexall Place in the fall of 2014 as originally planned, city officials said they could be ready to move the following season.

But there should be announcements about new businesses in the entertainment district around the arena shortly after council signs off on a final contract in a few weeks, Mandel said.

“I think development is the easy part of this. You will have hotels, restaurants … you will have all sorts of life,” he said.

“I’m hoping in future this will be a watershed moment for the city and downtown.”

The plan, which passed 10-3, uses money from the city, Oilers owner Daryl Katz, a ticket tax and a hoped-for contribution from the province to fund an arena costing no more than $450 million.

If bids from construction companies are higher, either side can walk away from the deal.

Katz had committed to investing an additional $100 million into surrounding projects when the market warrants, but in a last-minute change on which he was consulted will now put in $30 million before arena construction starts.

Councillors Ed Gibbons and Tony Caterina, who have raised numerous concerns about the agreement framework passed last May, wound up voting in favour of the final deal.

“I have needed all along to feel and see commitment from the Katz Group to be able to move,” said Caterina, who proposed most of the amendments.

“This is a much fairer deal than what was brought back from (talks with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in) New York … If there are people upset on both sides, that probably means it’s a pretty good deal.”

But Coun. Don Iveson, unhappy with the prospect of government money helping pay for an arena since the issue hit council last January, said he still isn’t satisfied the city received everything possible.

“I have not yet seen a compelling argument specifically justifying the funding formula before us … most of the arguments boil down to a leap of faith,” he said, adding he wants proof the team actually needs help.

“We’re simply told over and over again that the Oilers won’t be sustainable without this specific deal.”

Once the agreement was approved, councillors immediately started the ball rolling toward construction by approving $30 million for design work.

This should mean an interim schematic diagram will be ready next spring and a final design, which the city and Katz must both accept, going to council in November 2012 so the project can be sent out to tender to set a price.

In the meantime, Mandel is taking the next crucial step toward seeing the arena built — convincing a reluctant provincial government to provide $100 million in some form to complete the financing.

Premier Alison Redford has indicated the issue isn’t one of her top priorities, but Mandel said he wants to meet her to explain how funding could be arranged.

“This is a project about northern Alberta. It’s not just about Edmonton. Edmonton shouldn’t be the only one paying for it. The province should come to the table and help us.”

Coun. Kim Krushell said one option might be boosting provincial LRT construction cash, allowing the city to redirect money to the arena.

Council has rezoned about 6.5 hectares for the arena and surrounding development on sites now occupied by the Baccarat Casino, parking lots and vacant fields along 104th Avenue between 101st Street and 104th Street.

It bought land 10 days ago to beat an Oct. 31 expiry date for Katz purchase options, but the amount of property and the exact price — estimated at $20 million to $25 million — won’t be released until the transaction is completed.

In addition to the arena construction budget, the city plans to spend $72 million to $82 million for the land, half the cost of a pedway over 104th Avenue and LRT connections.

The arena plan also includes the possibility of the city building a separate community rink next door if the province and the federal government each kick in a third of the budget.

In a written statement, Katz Group vice-president John Karvellas described council’s decision as a “strong vote of support for the downtown arena.”

“We will work with city administration to understand the implications of the new elements of the deal introduced in today’s motions in the context of the agreements that need to be completed by month-end,” he said.

“We believe the Edmonton arena district is a great opportunity that will benefit our entire city and region.”

The NHL’s Bettman was also happy with the outcome.

“I am thrilled for the City of Edmonton and I want to congratulate and thank Mayor Mandel and Daryl Katz for their hard work and commitment,” he said in a written statement.

“The future of the Oilers couldn’t be brighter.”

[email protected]

WHAT”S NEXT?

Once council approves a formal agreement with Oilers owner Daryl Katz and borrows $30 million to start design work, likely in November, an architect will probably be announced within a few weeks.

The next big event will be completion of preliminary schematic designs in spring 2012. Once city council accepts them, construction plans that can be sent out for bids will probably go for council approval in November 2012.

But a source for the remaining $100 million in funding must be determined before the deal can be completed.

The province is also being asked to create a community revitalization levy area covering most of downtown. This will allow the city to use property taxes from new development in that district to pay for the arena and other civic projects.

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/City+council+approves+arena+deal/5609980/story.html
 

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It is said that, despite the fact that the city of Edmonton will have already built a bigger and better arena in the near future (the Rogers Place), the old Rexall Place will remain operational, Northlands has stated. Northlands has a lease at the old arena that lasts until 2034.

I have this to ask: How come there aren't plans to demolish Rexall Place instead? And won't the old arena become a white elephant once the new arena opens?
 

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It is said that, despite the fact that the city of Edmonton will have already built a bigger and better arena in the near future (the Rogers Place), the old Rexall Place will remain operational, Northlands has stated. Northlands has a lease at the old arena that lasts until 2034.

I have this to ask: How come there aren't plans to demolish Rexall Place instead? And won't the old arena become a white elephant once the new arena opens?
Perhaps not. In Vancouver, the Pacific Coliseum is still operating just fine 20 years after Rogers Arena was built. Rexall will probably still host the Edmonton Oil Kings junior hockey team along with smaller shows that can't afford to play at the new arena.
 

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Perhaps not. In Vancouver, the Pacific Coliseum is still operating just fine 20 years after Rogers Arena was built. Rexall will probably still host the Edmonton Oil Kings junior hockey team along with smaller shows that can't afford to play at the new arena.
Yeah, but the Edmonton metro has less than half the population Vancouver does, it's about the size of Buffalo, and we sure couldn't justify two 15,000 plus seat arenas.
 

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Yeah, but the Edmonton metro has less than half the population Vancouver does, it's about the size of Buffalo, and we sure couldn't justify two 15,000 plus seat arenas.
When GM Place was built the population of Vancouver was 1.8 million. Now, Edmonton isn't nearly that big but it probably just big enough to make it work for a while until the arena is not worth renovation costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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Hopefully, the new arena, Rogers Place, will have the press box on the players' benches side, just like Rexall Place.
 

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The cost of transforming Rexall Place into a multi-level ice facility is pegged at $85 million.

Northlands unveiled its vision for the site, including Rexall Place, Wednesday morning. But on Friday, Global News got a better picture of what the future could look like for the facility.

Northlands has a plan that would turn the arena into a two-level facility with upwards of seven sheets of ice.
http://globalnews.ca/news/2515249/t...d-be-the-future-of-rexall-place/?sf21040005=1
 
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