RX2: THE ARENA DEAL TAKES A POSITIVE STEP

Jason Gregor
July 22 2010 12:37AM

At 1:30 yesterday afternoon, Mayor Stephen Mandel addressed the near capacity audience at a hearing on the proposed Downtown Arena, depicted above in a crudely drawn 2008 mockup from an article outling the equally crude plans by OilersNation own Wanye.

Mandel tried to lighten the mood to start the afternoon's proceedings announcing “for those who haven’t been here before there is no clapping, no cheering or screaming. This will be a very interesting afternoon. Let’s go.”

I’m sure he didn’t expect it to last over four hours, but the Downtown Arena is a hot topic and there were lots of questions. John Karvellas, executive vice-president and general counsel for the Katz group did most of the talking and answered the majority of the questions, but Daryl Katz did address the Mayor and councilors right away.

“I know we haven’t always made it easy and I’ll be the first to apologize for that,” stated Katz in his opening statement. Katz surprised me with how passionate he was when he spoke. I sensed he truly is proud to be an Edmontonian, but he also has a goal to make this arena and surrounding entertainment district world class.

He mentioned that he was approached by the city in April of 2008, before he officially owned the Oilers, about a downtown arena and he has been focused on that ever since. He then committed to putting $100 million towards the rink and another $100 million towards the entertainment district.

I thought Katz was well-spoken and passionate and I bet if he addressed the fans once or twice a year that would help his cause. He doesn’t like the spotlight, and I respect that, but he owns a team that in his words, “Is a major part of the identity of Edmonton ,” so he needs to needs to realize that the fans want to feel like they know the man who runs this “Identity”.

He also mentioned the Oilers would sign a location agreement, meaning the likelihood of them leaving the city is minimal.

However, later in the proceedings Karvelles stated the Oilers and Oil Kings would not play in a refurbished Rexall Place . Their lease ends in the fall of 2014. Ted Tanner, executive director of real estate development of AEG opened up with a promotional video of AEG voice by Morgan Freeman.

It was meant to excite you and make you feel that AEG can build an arena, and the surrounding area, so exquisite that the entire world would want to come see it. The Staples Centre in LA and O2 in London were their prime examples in the AEG portfolio.

No doubt these are world class facilities, and if Edmonton ends up with something similar we’d be pretty ecstatic. The references to hosting the Grammys and being part of great movie production were off-base for this hearing, and I thought the video didn’t add much to the overall conversation.

The other contentious topic brought up by the Katz Group was how the Oilers currently don’t receive any non-hockey revenue at Rexall Place . They are the only NHL team with this agreement and noted this is a major reason why they have lost millions the past few seasons.

Reports suggest they lost four million last year, and then an additional three million went to the NHL subsidy program.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

After the Katz Group was done their presentation each councilor had five minutes to ask questions. Jane Batty went first followed by Don Iveson. Batty showed her hockey knowledge and gave Katz the Lady Byng award for his generous commitment of $4 million (they included his original purchase of the team).

Her questions asked for more clarification on certain points, but Iveson came out swinging. He asked why this couldn’t be privately funded like the previous four arenas that were built in Canada . Bob Black, executive vice-president of sports and entertainment for the Katz Group informed him that only Toronto made that model work, while in Montreal , Vancouver and Ottawa the original investor suffered massive losses. “So you are asking the city to take on most of the risk,” replied Iveson.

I think it is imperative in this process that the city asks the tough questions. I’m in favour of a new facility, and I believe we will get one, but the city needs must do their due diligence and investigate every turn.

A FAIR DEAL. IS THERE SUCH A THING?

My one concern is the thought process that we need a deal that is fair. What constitutes a fair deal?

I am always interested in the notion of “fairness”. Do you think 100 people could ever agree on what is “fair?” Or would fair have everything to do with your point of view?

Many who oppose the arena, and even some who support it, keep stating there has to be a fair deal. “If Katz puts up 25% of the arena cost, then he should only get 25% of the revenue,” is a statement I’ve heard on my show numerous times the past few months.

In a very general and simplistic fashion that could be considered fair, but I don’t think it is that simple. What is the true value of the Oilers to Edmonton? Can we put an accurate value on how much having an NHL team helps the economy? I’ve yet to see an exact report, but if you ask people in Winnipeg they say it is significant.

Some think it isn’t fair if Katz makes too much money off of this deal, but what is too much.

The fact is Katz owns the Oilers. He paid $200 million for them and he has the right to make as much money as he can.

That is how it works in our capitalist society.

Some of you will say that is fair, while others will claim it isn’t. And what is this automatic assumption that business is unfair, always takes unfair advantage of people, and if you have made a lot of money you must be a crook. What’s up with that? This thought process really stumps me.

I honestly believe if Katz addressed the fans they would naturally trust him more, and after listening to him today I think he would come across just fine once or twice a year. I don’t think he has to be front and centre all the time, and it isn’t in his personality to do so, but if he had done so in the past I guarantee some fans wouldn’t be so hesitant to believe in his downtown arena vision.

FAR FROM OVER

Near the end of the hearing on Wednesday, City Council agreed to enter into negotiations with both the Katz Group and Northlands on the financing and operations of a Downtown Arena and entertainment district. However, these discussions must exclude increases in property taxes.

Council also informed city administration to set up a community consultation process and prepare a report on the financial impacts the new downtown site would have on Northlands. And Northlands will be allowed to respond to this report at a future hearing.

HOCKEY SNIPPETS

  • Oilers netminder Nikolai Khabibulin’s court case was postponed again on Wednesday.  He and his agent have two options now. They can stand before a judge with no jury in late August or wait until September 29th and face a jury. All this does is muddy the goaltending waters of the Oilers. Regardless of what happens in his case, the probability of both Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk coming to camp seems likely.
  • And who was the arbitrator in the Clarke MacArthur arbitration ruling??? MacArthur was granted a one-year, $2.4 million contract after a scoring a career-high 16 goals and 35 points. One year with 35 points gets you $2.5 million? Was Mike Milbury ruling on this case? Gilbert Brule tallied 17 goals and 37 points last year, and he is two years younger than MacArthur. I bet the Oilers try even harder to get him signed before his August arbitration date, unless they want to pay him $2.5 million or more.
  • And I wonder what Mason Raymond is thinking right now. The Vancouver winger goes to arbitration on July 26th. He tallied 25 goals and 53 points last year. If this ruling is any indication he’ll be worth $3.6 million. Absolutely ridiculous.
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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Mess
July 22 2010, 01:14AM
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Fist! and Fist ever.

Lets hope this arena happens. Downtown Edmonton is a wasteland compared to Calgary or Vancouver. Edmonton needs a vibrant downtown to offset the "mall".

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#2 @Oilanderp
July 22 2010, 01:29AM
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I wish Khabi all the best buuuuuuut...... I would shriek in girlish joy if it turned out that the Oil could run with Deslauriers and Dubnyk for a full year next season. Yes, it would help with another high draft pick but more so it would indicate which goalie to keep.

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#3 PhillipSmithson
July 22 2010, 01:42AM
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The biggest thing needed to get a new arena/entertainment district in Edmonton is guaranteed revenue from more than just the Oilers. Other cities such as Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto are larger population centers and can easily fill their venues.

Thankfully no one has compared the situation here compared to U.S. cities. State laws there are very different. There these large arenas are subsidized and given tax benefits to encourage developers to build in their cities, which is a lot different than here.

Should tax payers foot the bill, no. But I like the percentage idea, whatever percentage an investor puts in is what they get in revenues (less operating cost) per year. IE: Katz puts up 200 mil. out of a 1 billion dollar building cost (20%) then he gets 20% of the revenues less the annual operating cost. That way if the City of Edmonton puts in say 30% they then have income coming in each year to go towards the debt of the building. Find investors to put in money and offer back revenue payouts annually. (Who knows who you can find, there are quite a lot of 50 million Lotto Max winners floating around recently..)

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#4 mattyfinch
July 22 2010, 01:56AM
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Any retard that sits at home and thinks for one second that the 450 million to this rink is a waste of money needs to simply put their NDP hats on tighter and read Karl Marx again.

FACT: The oilers will not last past 2014 in Edmonton without a new arena. google Quebec City and Winnipeg.

FACT: As much as i LOVE the greyhound bus stations and the empty lot ajacent to it, This new project would revitilize downtown Edmonton, not only for that section, but would give a new direction and business model going forward for an entire rebirth of the downtown core.

FACT: This is OUR TEAM. Who the Eff are we to have gone through all the crap we have since peter puck left only to pinch our pennies now and let the team leave in vain. Day 2 after this team leaves, all the dead beat idealists that try to block such a business deal like thios arena will be thick in the throat and thinking twice.

FACT: Charge a stupid 5 dollar fee on my ticket. What do i care, ticketmaster already charges like 3 times that, and i don't see them stepping up to fund the arena.

Simply put, this needs to happen. Stop thinking about OMFG MY PROPERTY TAXES WILL GO UP 4% NEXT YEAR!?!?!?!, they will anyways, for some stupid project that will take 10 years to complete (cough cough anthony hendey) and will cost millions more to maintain once done. Let the increase next year and the years after MEAN SOMETHING. Id much rather have this debate again in 30 years when the new building is outdated, then sit crying in my oilers jersey 9 years from now like every Jets fan in winnipeg subjected too moosehead games, ugly women, and a football who won the grey cup.... uhh... when?

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#5 R.A. Slapshotzky
July 22 2010, 02:19AM
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@mattyfinch

"FACT: The oilers will not last past 2014 in Edmonton without a new arena. google Quebec City and Winnipeg. "

I hope you're wrong for the teams sake.

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#6 Kenmcc
July 22 2010, 02:47AM
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Hi Jason or other knowledgeable sports person,

I watched all of the proceedings on TV. Obviously a handful of counsellors believe their job is to represent Northland's interests first, and the citizen's interests second.

What or who is "Northlands". Are they a corporation? Are they an elected body? NAre they a not-for-profit chariy? How did they come to hold so much power over our elected counsel? Who's backing them? It was discouraging to see the original motion to get amended to include Northlands in the negotiations

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#7 hands mcdangles
July 22 2010, 03:02AM
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Cost of building a new arena is 400 million. If you take out the 100 million Katz is offering, that leaves 300 million. Cost of a rexall renovation with no katz support is 250 million

In the end the city would save 50 million to reno rexall.

Also, shouldn't the provincial gov be pitching in some of the revenues from the proposed casino?

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#8 russ99
July 22 2010, 05:23AM
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I really don't get why Northlands interests are being protected here.

Is Northlands putting any money into the arena?

Is Northlands putting any money into downtown redevelopment?

Besides, if the Oilers move downtown, Rexall is still a viable venue for what Northlands does. They'd only have to deal with competition, just like in every other market.

Seems to me that the Katz group is going well past what is expected of ownership to get something done, while Northlands is resting on whatever grip they have in the community.

Just hope the city realizes what's going on before they end up in bed with Northlands and no hockey team.

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#9 Reagan
July 22 2010, 06:53AM
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It seems as if they are still a long way off to figuring this mess out. It doesn't surprise me at all. It just goes to show you that the city and Northlands are not that pumped about the whole deal. If katz were smart he should scrap the downtown deal, and buy some less lucrative land and do his entertainment builing with his own money at a lower cost. He'll receive 100 percent of the profits and get or start a mgmt crew to run the show. No offence to those that think the world of this new arena. But really who wants to hang out in grubby old downtown Edmonton. Revitalization or not, that area is a dumping ground for heartache, vandelism, robbery, theft, hookers, and drugs. How is one arena going to cure ten square blocks of disease? Move the arena to the old air port site, and update that so called race track at the same time!

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#10 Old Dutch Snack Attack
July 22 2010, 07:08AM
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"FACT: The oilers will not last past 2014 in Edmonton without a new arena. google Quebec City and Winnipeg. "

I doubt it. If the NHL won't let the Coyotes leave Phoenix there is no way Katz can move the Oilers from Edmonton. I call a bluff on this threat.

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#11 Poo Czar
July 22 2010, 07:18AM
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@mattyfinch

"FACT"

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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#12 -30-
July 22 2010, 07:28AM
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The best place on the internet to get balanced views on a billionaire asking for a handout for a new hockey arena? Hardly.

Jason, firstly thank you for the thought out and reasoned discourse on the arena issue.

You're quite the opposite of the new Brian Hall, aka Bob (covert Oiler pr guy) Stauffer. Stauffer was once the best guy on sports talk radio in Edmonton. Boy has that ever changed in the last year! He's become as bad an apologist as Dan Tencer for everything Oil.

Back to the issue. Like one of he alderman said yesterday, what did we learn today that we didn't already know a year ago? Who asked hardball questions except for Anderson and Caterina.

Until yesterday did everyone believe the land would be paid for by Katz? It seems that taxpayers are on the hook for that too.

The Katz Group is a private company, when they're questioned on being profitable as Forbes Magazine says, they deny it. Nobody can prove different because their books aren't public.

Next time I want a handout, I'll drag my family along with me to gain the sympathy vote. Smart eh?

Let the Oil move or try to. I am fed up with billionaires asking for public assistance for something that will benefit them far more than it will ever benefit the public.

Aside from hockey fans, who really cares if we have an NHL franchise? I don't and I enjoy hockey.

2014? I look forward to see where the Oilers and Oil Kings will play. I call bull***t on that bluff.

-30_

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#13 Dyckster
July 22 2010, 07:31AM
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Old Dutch Snack Attack wrote:

"FACT: The oilers will not last past 2014 in Edmonton without a new arena. google Quebec City and Winnipeg. "

I doubt it. If the NHL won't let the Coyotes leave Phoenix there is no way Katz can move the Oilers from Edmonton. I call a bluff on this threat.

You may be right, BUT, remember, The Yotes are a project originated by Bettman, the Oilers are not. The estemed Commish has a little pride involved when it comes to Pheonix, not so much Edmonton. That could be a factor.

~Besides, why have a team in a hockey hating town like Edmonton, when instead, you could move it to, say, a hotbed like Atlanta?~

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#14 gonadsgo
July 22 2010, 07:35AM
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Katz's worst argument is that the team is losing money in its current state...

4 million dollars is the difference between not making the playoffs and making them. The team could have sold out most of the games and placed 30th without spending to the cap either. If the team was so concerned with money it wouldn't have given one-way deals to guys they don't want to play at the NHL level (Giroux, etc). They also wouldn't have paid a premium to sign a goalie with a cup ring for four years when the goalie they had only wanted two.

When the team is losing only 4 million, it's pretty easy to point at the inefficiencies in running the team. Not a good argument at all.

That said, I'm for building the arena but agree with some of what Gregor discussed yesterday in the terms that fans of the team should shoulder a larger burden than other tax payers, be it in ticket charges, $10 beers at the games, what have you. It's only "fair".

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#15 Gregors dirty 'stash
July 22 2010, 07:50AM
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Northlands is a community based not for profit organization owned by the city, of course they are going to be in on these discussions.

The thing that is a bit of a head scratcher is that the city would have to foot the bill for the, renovations of Rexall. (If that were to Happen.)

Apparently the current location of the arena is a better location than the one by the Casino down town, according to the AEG, as mention by sexy Linda Steele last night.

So what is Katz and the city can come to some sort of Agreement to build the new facility there, tear down RX1 and make that this new sexy district.

Please feel free to criticize me!

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#16 Gregors dirty 'stash
July 22 2010, 07:54AM
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furthermore the 'yotes = 0 out of 10

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#17 rubbertrout
July 22 2010, 07:59AM
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@-30-

So you're a hockey fan who doesn't care if Edmonton has an NHL franchise yet you are posting on an Oilers fansite? Strange.

RX1 is a dump. Downtown Edmonton is a dump. Trying to do something about both in one fell swoop (at an additional cost of $50M as per hands mcdangles) seems like a pretty good idea to me.

Honestly, people will bitch about anything and everything.

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#18 madjam
July 22 2010, 08:07AM
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Solution : Let Katz pay for new arena and surrounding buildings , but give him tax breaks for 10-30 years on those buildings to lessen burden on taxpayers/city . Dell i believe , as an example , paid a dollar in taxes /year from a deal with the city , etc. during their time here . Leaves Katz complete control over all venues to boot .

If city willing to put up $300M , then do it as tax breaks back to Katz over time ? Tax breaks still didn't prevent Dell from pulling out of city , however .

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#19 Alex Hemsky
July 22 2010, 08:08AM
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Am I the only one who laughed at the explanation on how capitalism works right after discussing just how much government money Katz gets for his arena?

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When the new barn is built what happens to rexall?

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#21 BUCK75
July 22 2010, 08:16AM
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THe ticket tax is reasonable I think. As others have pointed out, ticketmaster takes more thna that. It is fair, users of the facility for concerts, dog shows, curling events, rodeos, or whatever else AEG wants to put into this facility should cover a big chunk of mortgage/interest every year.

I am sick of the Northlands fight. People have the idea that they can renovate RX1 for less money - but it is all public money as well. For over 100 years Northlands has been benefiting the city, they probably still will but maybe it is time for a change. Northern Alberta is always in the news for the wrong reasons, maybe it is time we started building some world class facilities to showcase something other than what environmentalists in the US want to depict us.

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@Gregors dirty 'stash

So if Northlands isn't in on the whole building, what are they really going to do? I'd think losing the majority of the tenants at Rexall is really going to hurt them.

I heard that Katz has to prove he can get more tenants then just the Oilers, isn't the AEG one of the biggest promotional event companies in the world? I'd have to think that getting tenants is a non-issue for Katz.

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#23 gretzkycurry
July 22 2010, 08:20AM
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Old Dutch Snack Attack wrote:

"FACT: The oilers will not last past 2014 in Edmonton without a new arena. google Quebec City and Winnipeg. "

I doubt it. If the NHL won't let the Coyotes leave Phoenix there is no way Katz can move the Oilers from Edmonton. I call a bluff on this threat.

Bettman doesn't love the Coyotes just because they're his special project. Gary needs to keep a team in Phoenix if the NHL ever wants to have any semblance of a lucrative TV deal like the other major leagues have. Phoenix is one of the major television markets in the US (#14) and they are a regional anchor for the southwest states. If you lose Phoenix, that's a big gaping hole in viewership when you go to the table with NBC/Fox/ESPN etc.

Gary talks a good game about protecting canadian markets, but remember Gary is employed by the owners - most of whom like making money.

Protecting canadian TV markets like Edmonton likely won't bring out the bulldog in Gary like the Phoenix situation has.

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#24 Old Dutch Snack Attack
July 22 2010, 08:21AM
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@Alex Hemsky

Exactly. Billionaire owners in North America have a bad habit of turning to socialists whenever arenas and stadiums need to be built.

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@BUCK75

To be honest why doesn't every venue that the city help fund have some sort of surcharge that goes back to the city to help pay it down? Really if you want to go then you should be the one helping pay down the debt.

Any possibility that Northlands gets phased out and Katz takes over?

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gretzkycurry wrote:

Bettman doesn't love the Coyotes just because they're his special project. Gary needs to keep a team in Phoenix if the NHL ever wants to have any semblance of a lucrative TV deal like the other major leagues have. Phoenix is one of the major television markets in the US (#14) and they are a regional anchor for the southwest states. If you lose Phoenix, that's a big gaping hole in viewership when you go to the table with NBC/Fox/ESPN etc.

Gary talks a good game about protecting canadian markets, but remember Gary is employed by the owners - most of whom like making money.

Protecting canadian TV markets like Edmonton likely won't bring out the bulldog in Gary like the Phoenix situation has.

I thought Phoenix was in the top 5 or something, 14th really doesn't seem to be that big of a deal. Who are 1-13? Are there NHL teams there?

Losing another Canadian team would hurt the NHL right now. We are the ones making the most money and cutting cheques for the other teams. Granted Edmonton would just be going to Hamilton so it wouldn't matter. Either way I don't worry about the team moving, just writers digging deep.

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#27 Chris.
July 22 2010, 08:29AM
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Old Dutch Snack Attack wrote:

"FACT: The oilers will not last past 2014 in Edmonton without a new arena. google Quebec City and Winnipeg. "

I doubt it. If the NHL won't let the Coyotes leave Phoenix there is no way Katz can move the Oilers from Edmonton. I call a bluff on this threat.

Bettman is trying to back taxpayers who stepped up to the plate and built a beautiful new facility in the desert (While maintaining access to a huge TV market)

The Winnipeg Jets were in an irrelevent TV market, and the people of Manitoba didn't get an adequate facility built.

If Katz and the city/province can't get a new building in place by 2014: which situation does ours more closely resemble?

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#28 JB
July 22 2010, 08:42AM
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Why the hell does Northlands have to be involved in any way? What do they bring to the equation outside of the fact they currently run Rexall? Jesus, municipal politics at their finest. Must ensure our friends are taken care of.

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#29 Crackenbury
July 22 2010, 08:44AM
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Here's a history lesson: "Understanding the potentially far-reaching implications of the venture, the City of Edmonton, and the provincial and federal government became funding partners for the Coliseum by providing grants, land use, lottery funds, and other forms of support. All of these relationships facilitated the momentous task of bringing the Coliseum to life."

I've lived in this city my entire and am actively involved in the business community. There was a time in our not to distant past when Edmonton was seen as a progressive business oriented city, even ahead of Calgary in that regard. Government understood that to attract and retain businesses and people you had to provide an environment where they could succeed.

I'm not sure of the turning point, of when Edmonton lost it's focus on attracting and retaining big business. Some will point to Jan Reimer, but that is giving her far too much credit. I think the biggest sign of Edmonton losing it's business focus was the movement of Shaw head offices to Calgary.

It seems odd to me how the city can spend nearly 100 million on a non-revenue producing art gallery with little public opposition, but talk of participating in revitalizing an entire area of the city through development of an arena district gets the collective blood of the city boiling.

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#30 offside
July 22 2010, 08:47AM
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Maybe Katz should build the arena in Leduc County by EIA. Makes sense - easy to get to, may draw more fans from the centre of the province, close to the airport which keeps opposing players from driving through dirty Edmonton, lots of room for parking, may entice Edmonton to take the LRT to the airport, and finally, gives the City a big middle finger by not giving a penny of tax money to the City. (Alternative option - build it by the River Cree - about 5 feet away from the city.

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#31 Oil Fever
July 22 2010, 08:49AM
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Hey Gregor, What happens with havebeenboozin's contract if he's sentenced to 6 months??

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#32 Tyler
July 22 2010, 08:50AM
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In a very general and simplistic fashion that could be considered fair, but I don’t think it is that simple. What is the true value of the Oilers to Edmonton? Can we put an accurate value on how much having an NHL team helps the economy? I’ve yet to see an exact report, but if you ask people in Winnipeg they say it is significant.

There are lots of reports - done by actual economists - that say that the financial value to a city of an NHL team is pretty bloody low. Remember the Great Depression of 2004-05, when Edmonton's economy collapsed during the lockout? Of course you don't, because it didn't happen.

Reports suggest they lost four million last year, and then an additional three million went to the NHL subsidy program.

I would be surprised if the Oilers were paying into revenue sharing without making the playoffs. In any event, how much of the loss was interest payments for Katz, who grossly overpaid for the team? Is "WORST RUN BUSINESS IN SECTOR LOSES MONEY" really that surprising a headline?

Bob Black, executive vice-president of sports and entertainment for the Katz Group informed him that only Toronto made that model work, while in Montreal , Vancouver and Ottawa the original investor suffered massive losses. “So you are asking the city to take on most of the risk,” replied Iveson.

This is pretty much tantamount to an admission that it's a terrible financial idea and only works if the City absorbs a huge loss.

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offside wrote:

Maybe Katz should build the arena in Leduc County by EIA. Makes sense - easy to get to, may draw more fans from the centre of the province, close to the airport which keeps opposing players from driving through dirty Edmonton, lots of room for parking, may entice Edmonton to take the LRT to the airport, and finally, gives the City a big middle finger by not giving a penny of tax money to the City. (Alternative option - build it by the River Cree - about 5 feet away from the city.

Would the surrounding development make any money? Plus he already has a chunk of land downtown and would need to buy out and leduc and do what with the downtown location?

Here's the thing why give the City a big middle finger? He just started talking about money in the last few weeks.

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#34 Rob...
July 22 2010, 08:53AM
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When Katz bought the team he initially promised 100 million towards a downtown arena, not the surrounding area. This came off the table, being replaced by a promise of 100 million towards the arena's surrounding area, only to re-surface as a 'throw-in' concession recently. This stinks of smoke and mirrors as much as a suggested 10 percent tax hike that is eventually dropped to 5 to the glee of the tax payers.

I also have heard nothing of the promised hockey center of excellence. Have I just missed the grand plans regarding that carrot or has it become a taboo topic?

With that said, I'm all for the arena and Daryl's plans, I just wish their was less BS involved.

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#35 Minister D-
July 22 2010, 08:59AM
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I actually did find quite a bit on sun worship by doing a google search, including that Sunday was actually a day set aside for sun worship until 321 AD, when Constantine passed the first law that made it into a Church holiday rather than a pagan one. wait, is this a hockey blog? oh, sorry....um....Horcoff is overpaid!

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#36 Old Dutch Snack Attack
July 22 2010, 09:00AM
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Chris. wrote:

Bettman is trying to back taxpayers who stepped up to the plate and built a beautiful new facility in the desert (While maintaining access to a huge TV market)

The Winnipeg Jets were in an irrelevent TV market, and the people of Manitoba didn't get an adequate facility built.

If Katz and the city/province can't get a new building in place by 2014: which situation does ours more closely resemble?

The way I see it is that Edmonton is a healthy franchise that generates money for the league and pays into the league subsidy program.

Phoenix is huge money loser with no fans or television viewers.

Financially, Edmonton brings more to the table than Phoenix. I'm not going to worry about them leaving.

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#37 thunderbirdiv17
July 22 2010, 09:01AM
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Just a thought but, if they plan on building a hotel and shopping center, and casino to go with the new rink would that not create new jobs for Edmonton. I'm all for the new rink we have the oldest and smallest rink in the NHL. If Katz is not lying about not playing after 2014 then look out Edmonton cause your city is going to be losing tons of revenue. I don't live in Edmonton when I come up for games I spend my money for hotels and food and shopping while I'm there. I'm sure that there are many many other people that do the same now with no Edmonton team how much revenue will be lost.

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#38 offside
July 22 2010, 09:05AM
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Sorry, maybe I shoud have used ~ in my previous statement as I don't really want that to happen, I'm a fan of what is planned, it was just kind of a fantasy situation that if proposed by Katz, would be kind of funny.

Also the "$4 million loss" as stated in the article I believe means the Oilers lost out on $4 million had they received a share of the non-hockey revenue. I don't think it means the Oilers lost $4 million (correct me if I'm wrong).

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#39 Ryan14
July 22 2010, 09:05AM
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-30- wrote:

The best place on the internet to get balanced views on a billionaire asking for a handout for a new hockey arena? Hardly.

Jason, firstly thank you for the thought out and reasoned discourse on the arena issue.

You're quite the opposite of the new Brian Hall, aka Bob (covert Oiler pr guy) Stauffer. Stauffer was once the best guy on sports talk radio in Edmonton. Boy has that ever changed in the last year! He's become as bad an apologist as Dan Tencer for everything Oil.

Back to the issue. Like one of he alderman said yesterday, what did we learn today that we didn't already know a year ago? Who asked hardball questions except for Anderson and Caterina.

Until yesterday did everyone believe the land would be paid for by Katz? It seems that taxpayers are on the hook for that too.

The Katz Group is a private company, when they're questioned on being profitable as Forbes Magazine says, they deny it. Nobody can prove different because their books aren't public.

Next time I want a handout, I'll drag my family along with me to gain the sympathy vote. Smart eh?

Let the Oil move or try to. I am fed up with billionaires asking for public assistance for something that will benefit them far more than it will ever benefit the public.

Aside from hockey fans, who really cares if we have an NHL franchise? I don't and I enjoy hockey.

2014? I look forward to see where the Oilers and Oil Kings will play. I call bull***t on that bluff.

-30_

"Aside from hockey fans, who really cares if we have an NHL franchise? I don't and I enjoy hockey."

maybe all the business that indirectly depend on the Oilers?

Or all the charity organizations that the Oilers started/help?

Maddox Flinn might care about the Oilers.

A city, that outside of the Oilers, have nothing (Sorry city council, the U of A and Oilers are edmonton, not Northlands)

What a horrible, narrow sighted comment.

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#40 OilersNinja
July 22 2010, 09:08AM
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Wayne's artistic renderings are the talk of the town once again....Bravo!

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#41 Sandy
July 22 2010, 09:11AM
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In the early 80's Triple Five asked Jan Reimer's Council to give concessions to build the world's largest mall on the rail yards connected to their "Eaton" Centre, and they said no deal so Triple Five said fine and moved to some farm land on the out skirts of town, effectively moving the down town to 170th and killing down town for the next 20 plus years. This deal could fix that blunder, make the city's down town something to be proud of!

Gregger, I agree with chat on your show yesterday, councilors connected to Northlands should obstein from all discussions as a conflict of interest.

Go Oilers Go

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#42 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
July 22 2010, 09:22AM
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PhillipSmithson wrote:

The biggest thing needed to get a new arena/entertainment district in Edmonton is guaranteed revenue from more than just the Oilers. Other cities such as Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto are larger population centers and can easily fill their venues.

Thankfully no one has compared the situation here compared to U.S. cities. State laws there are very different. There these large arenas are subsidized and given tax benefits to encourage developers to build in their cities, which is a lot different than here.

Should tax payers foot the bill, no. But I like the percentage idea, whatever percentage an investor puts in is what they get in revenues (less operating cost) per year. IE: Katz puts up 200 mil. out of a 1 billion dollar building cost (20%) then he gets 20% of the revenues less the annual operating cost. That way if the City of Edmonton puts in say 30% they then have income coming in each year to go towards the debt of the building. Find investors to put in money and offer back revenue payouts annually. (Who knows who you can find, there are quite a lot of 50 million Lotto Max winners floating around recently..)

One needs to remember that the current Rexall Place is the 2nd businest arena in north america, behind the staples center I believe. I would assume with a new state of the art arena would be just as busy if not busier attracting bigger shows/concerts/etc. So it doesn't matter that Vancoiuver/Montreal have bigger markets, we're already got a busier arena.

I think the city will benifit from a new arena being built downtown, and thus in turn should have some level of involvement in the cost of building it. But what level is the part that is up for debate.

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#43 BBOil
July 22 2010, 09:23AM
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WE NEED A NEW BUILDING!!!!!

How and where it is built is debatable. Who pays for it can be negotiated. How those people get their money back is also negotiable. What I do not see as debatable or negotiable is whether this city needs a new arena.

Anybody ever go to an event in Rexall and end up in that log jam in the concourse trying to get anywhere, or in a line to go to the bathroom expanding out into the log jammed concourse? Second oldest building in the league. Like it or not it is out of date and not as functional as it should be.

I also hate the argument that Katz is a billionaire, and as such should get no breaks in life, or should not ask for contributions from the city. He is a businessman just like anyone else. Heard an argument yesterday that the City is ridiculous for even considering paying any costs to a new building and should be putting money to small businesses and the common man. Guess what a new building requires being built. Thus contractors need to be hired. Maybe it may not be small businesses hired, but as the big businesses devote their time to the arena, perhaps that creates opportunities for smaller companies to gain work on other projects. Little thing called spin offs.

Also say Katz goes it alone and raises the capital to build it himself, and this contributes to the revitalization of downtown. Now the man just built a state of the art facility, which the City not only would benefit from revitalization wise, but also money wise because they would tax the crap out of it. Thus the City comes out huge winner.

In the end doesn't it make sense to work together to create a project with the potential to be win win for Katz and the Oil, as well as the City of Edmonton.

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#44 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
July 22 2010, 09:25AM
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1000000% agree that Northlands board members who sit on council should not be part of this process. That fact that they still are is a complete joke.

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#46 VMR
July 22 2010, 09:27AM
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Rob... wrote:

When Katz bought the team he initially promised 100 million towards a downtown arena, not the surrounding area. This came off the table, being replaced by a promise of 100 million towards the arena's surrounding area, only to re-surface as a 'throw-in' concession recently. This stinks of smoke and mirrors as much as a suggested 10 percent tax hike that is eventually dropped to 5 to the glee of the tax payers.

I also have heard nothing of the promised hockey center of excellence. Have I just missed the grand plans regarding that carrot or has it become a taboo topic?

With that said, I'm all for the arena and Daryl's plans, I just wish their was less BS involved.

Not true. The initial promise of $100 million was very misleading because all their announcements mentioned the arena and surrounding area together as one item to which he was commiting the cash. It never specified where that money was going to be spent, on the arena or the surrounding complex, when they later clarified they were planning to spend on the surrounding development it looked like they reneged on the deal but really they had never promised any money towards the arena itself.

Here are a few questions I have about the deal. They want to get rid of Northlands to remove the middle man but it looks like they just want to replace them with another one by bringing in AEG. What role does AEG have in this process and how are they making money off of it?

The Oilers lost @ $7 million last season but how much of that can you blame on the lack of revenue streams? The team severely overpaid several players for their performance last season and didnt get results equal to their payroll, didnt make the playoffs and thus didnt get playoff revenue. In a year where the teams salaries were managed better and/or they did get playoff revenue wouldnt this teams bottom line be much better under the current revenue deal? Do they really need all other revenues just to break even?

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#47 Crash
July 22 2010, 09:31AM
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thunderbirdiv17 wrote:

Just a thought but, if they plan on building a hotel and shopping center, and casino to go with the new rink would that not create new jobs for Edmonton. I'm all for the new rink we have the oldest and smallest rink in the NHL. If Katz is not lying about not playing after 2014 then look out Edmonton cause your city is going to be losing tons of revenue. I don't live in Edmonton when I come up for games I spend my money for hotels and food and shopping while I'm there. I'm sure that there are many many other people that do the same now with no Edmonton team how much revenue will be lost.

I do it too...in fact I'm a season ticket holder living in Red Deer...not only do the businesses of the city of Edmonton get my money when I come to town but so do other businesses along the way.

If the Oilers leave town my trips to Edmonton will become FAR less frequent. I will not be buying tickets to whatever AHL franchise moves into the beat down Rexall place. I will not need to spend money on hotels, food, gas, entertainment. I will not buy tickets to the Oil Kings, in fact I hate to say it but my trips to see NHL hockey would now take me south to ughhhhh, Calgary and the city of Calgary and it's businesses would now get my money...

I know I'm just one voice but certainly there are many more just like me...I don't really see how losing the one thing that makes Edmonton a major city would be good...

IMO the city benefits greatly by having the Oilers there and should therefore share in the cost.

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#48 Ender
July 22 2010, 09:36AM
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Oil Fever wrote:

Hey Gregor, What happens with havebeenboozin's contract if he's sentenced to 6 months??

I'm not Gregor but I'll attempt to respond to your question anyway.

In the first place, there's no way Khabi gets 6 months. That's the maximum penalty and I can't see him drawing that. The minimum penalty if he is found guilty is 30 days, and that might be more realistic.

Either way, though, any conviction is going to impact Khabibulin's ability to play games; in that scenario the question isn't if he'll miss starts, but simply how many. In addition, if he is found guilty the hurting doesn't stop for him once his time is served; he'll be left with a criminal record in the United States which could make it very difficult for him to cross the border for a long time, thus making Khabibulin potentially unavailable for all road games in the States.

For both of these reasons, if Khabibulin is convicted the Oilers will likely file with the NHL to have Khabibulin's remaining deal voided for breach-of-contract. While publically they might lament the tragic necessity of parting with their 'MVP', privately I'm betting ownership would be dancing a little jig around their offices. I admit that I'd be the first to join them.

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#49 Maverick
July 22 2010, 09:38AM
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This topic will be discussed over and over again. Its the middle of summer and its sunny and warm outside and there is tons of activities to do in Edmonton. So really the impact of the Arena is not really felt because our minds and activities are enjoying the weather. BUT, when its the middle of January and its -30c outside and there is a limited amount things to do in Edmonton, maybe then people will realize how important having a hockey team or teams actually is to keep our spirits up and occupy our thoughts during the dark cold winters in Edmonton. Yes, I would hate to see this 'project' funded by public money but is it really coming from my pocket?? Not really, lets do a little math test: The property land where the Arena area is to be build currently brings the City of Edmonton $200,000 in taxes, its a few buildings and vacant land. If an Arena, a hotel, businesses, a condo complex, etc.. are build there, the City of Edmonton would benefit from the additional property taxes from the businesses and adjecent buildings and those numbers would increase 100 fold. Would that be nice to see the City receive more money from a currently vacant unproductive area?? I think so. Also just to make another small point towards the Edmonton ecomony; the team has an average 20 millionaire hockey players here through most of the year, these players buy or rent fairly large and expensive homes, they buy expensive vehicles, they eat out at resturants, their kids (if they have any) go to school, they are part of the community. Now I'm not sure of the math, but having a guarantee of 20 millionaires in our community adding money into or ecomony a bad thing?? I hope I am not in the minority here but the team and its players bring money and non-monetary value to this community. I would hate to lose them and reading John Mackinnon article today in the journal makes me sad that people in this community need to go back to the basics and see the world for what it is and the value a hockey team is to this community and each other who live in this great city.

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@VMR

I suspect Katz is going to give the AEG some sort of exclusive rights to the events that happen when the Oilers aren't playing. I really don't know who has them now, but I could see that being their intrest. Especially if Rexall is as busy as stated.

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