So the Edmonton city council is investigating ways to build a new downtown city arena by themselves without the help of Oilers owner and billionaire Daryl Katz. They (City Council) Think that since much of the design for the arena has been done, as well they own the land where the new arena is set to be built, they won’t have much extra work to do besides coming up with the funding. Oh yeah did I mention that Northlands wants back in?
I was reminded of a proposal in 2008 by Edmontonian architect Gene Dub to build a $300 million dollar facility area in the East Quarters area of downtown an area, like most of downtown, badly in need of revitalization. This idea didn’t get much air time due to the fact that at the time Oilers owner Katz said he was never even contacted by Dub and his company about this proposed facility.
I managed to find a few articles on Dub’s proposal including this one here which criticizes his plan, because 1- they would need to demolish up to 50 affordable housing units, and 2- Gene Dub owned a lot of the land in the quarters where this arena, which was seen as too self serving. See the “Giant Wok” Flythrough below.
I think that the comments made by Edmonton City council and City manager in the report release on Halloween night are just a tactic to put pressure on the Katz group, show them that they can/will build it themselves if they can’t come up with some sort of fair offer. If the city really thinks they can build it I don’t believe they will be able to without tax payer dollars, something they have said from the start they will not do.
So in the end, this IMO is just posturing by council to get Katz back to the table and to start negotiating a deal that will be fair to the city and the Katz group. This deal will get done, eventually.
Other Stuff and Things……
– The OKC Barons got shut out today. They had all they’re young gun fire power in the line up and weren’t able to score a goal. Someone hit the panic button, the Barons can’t score, Schultz’ 9 game point streak is over and the world must be coming to an end.
– On a good note it seems like there might finally be some progress being made on the CBA front as Steve Fehr and Bill Daly reportedly met late in to the night Saturday, and apparently had some constructive conversation. It has now been rumored that more formal talks will happen as early as Tuesday. Too bad it has taken so long.
– I attended the DJ Suitcase fundraiser on Friday night, and what a blast it was. I heard they raised over $20, 000 for the Inner City Children’s Program, a great charity. Way to step up Edmontonians and Oilers fans. Met some pretty great people there too.
Don’t forget to follow the Oil on Whyte team on twitter
Jeff – @OilOnWhyte
Ian – @ibleedoil
Jonathan – @jonrmcleod
Troy – @heavyoilcountry
Dave – @rustyknuckler