On Tuesday the NHL came up with an actual proposal in the hopes of ending this asinine lockout. The NHLPA will make an official comment today or tomorrow and should have some sort of rebuttal later this week. The NHL’s offer won’t be accepted as is, but at least on the surface it looks like a good starting point.

Meanwhile the Katz Group sent a letter to Mayor Mandel, and then to numerous media outlets, advising Edmonton’s mayor that they won’t be addressing city council today. This wasn’t a surprise. The Katz Group has stated from the beginning they didn’t want to negotiate publicly. This doesn’t look a good starting point, but I don’t think it’s an end point either.

Here are the guts of the actual deal. The NHL sent this out today.

1. Term:

• Six-year Agreement with mutual option for a seventh year.

2. HRR Accounting:

• Current HRR Accounting subject to mutual clarification of existing interpretations and settlements.

3. Applicable Players’ Share:

• For each of the six (6) years of the CBA (and any additional one-year option) the Players’ Share shall be Fifty (50) percent of Actual HRR.

4. Payroll Range:

• Payroll Range will be computed using existing methodology. For the 2012/13 season, the Payroll Range will be computed assuming HRR will remain flat year-over-year (2011/12 to 2012/13) at $3.303 Billion (assuming Preliminary Benefits of $95 Million).

• 2012/13 Payroll Range
Lower Limit = $43.9 Million
Midpoint = $51.9 Million
Upper Limit = $59.9 Million

• Appropriate "Transition Rules" to allow Clubs to exceed Upper Limit for the 2012/13 season only (but in no event will Club’s Averaged Club Salary be permitted to exceed the pre-CBA Upper Limit of $70.2 Million).

5. Cap Accounting:

• Payroll Lower Limit must be satisfied without performance bonuses.

• All years of existing SPCs with terms in excess of five (5) years will be accounted for and charged against a team’s Cap (at full AAV) regardless of whether or where the Player is playing. In the event any such contract is traded during its term, the related Cap charge will travel with the Player, but only for the year(s) in which the Player remains active and is being paid under his NHL SPC. If, at some subsequent point in time the Player retires or ceases to play and/or receive pay under his NHL SPC, the Cap charge will automatically revert (at full AAV) to the Club that initially entered into the contract for the balance of its term.

• Money paid to Players on NHL SPCs (one-ways and two-ways) in another professional league will not be counted against the Players’ Share, but all dollars paid in excess of $105,000 will be counted against the NHL Club’s Averaged Club Salary for the period during which such Player is being paid under his SPC while playing in another professional league.

• In the context of Player Trades, participating Clubs will be permitted to allocate Cap charges and related salary payment obligations between them, subject to specified parameters. Specifically, Clubs may agree to retain, for each of the remaining years of the Player’s SPC, no more than the lesser of: (i) $3 million of a particular SPC’s Cap charge or (ii) 50 percent of the SPC’s AAV ("Retained Salary Transaction"). In any Retained Salary Transaction, salary obligations as between Clubs would be allocated on the same percentage basis as Cap charges are being allocated. So, for instance, if an assigning Club agrees to retain 30% of an SPC’s Cap charge over the balance of its term, it will also retain an obligation to reimburse the acquiring Club 30% of the Player’s contractual compensation in each of the remaining years of the contract. A Club may not have more than two (2) contracts as to which Cap charges have been allocated between Clubs in a Player Trade, and no more than $5 million in allocated Cap charges in the aggregate in any one season.

6. System Changes:

• Entry Level System commitment will be limited to two (2) years (covering two full seasons) for all Players who sign their first SPC between the ages of 18 and 24 (i.e., where the first year of the SPC only covers a partial season, SPC must be for three (3) years).

• Maintenance of existing Salary Arbitration System subject to: (i) total mutuality of rights with regard to election as between Player and Club, and (ii) eligibility for election moved to five years of professional experience (from the current four years).

• Group 3 UFA eligibility for Players who are 28 or who have eight (8) Accrued Seasons (continues to allow for early UFA eligibility — age 26).

• Maximum contract length of five (5) years.

• Limit on year-to-year salary variability on multi-year SPCs — i.e., maximum increase or decrease in total compensation (salary and bonuses) year-over-year limited to 5% of the value of the first year of the contract. (For example, if a Player earns $10 million in total compensation in Year 1 of his SPC, his compensation (salary and bonuses) cannot increase or decrease by more than $500,000 in any subsequent year of his SPC.)

• Re-Entry waivers will be eliminated, consistent with the Cap Accounting proposal relating to the treatment of Players on NHL SPCs playing in another professional league.

• NHL Clubs who draft European Players obtain four (4) years of exclusive negotiating rights following selection in the Draft. If the four-year period expires, Player will be eligible to enter the League as a Free Agent and will not be subject to re-entering the Draft.

7. Revenue Sharing:

• NHL commits to Revenue Sharing Pool of $200 million for 2012/13 season (based on assumption of $3.303 Billion in actual HRR). Amount will be adjusted upward or downward in proportion to Actual HRR results for 2012/13. Revenue Sharing Pools in future years will be calculated proportionately.

• At least one-half of the total Revenue Sharing Pool (50%) will be raised from the Top 10 Revenue Grossing Clubs in a manner to be determined by the NHL.

• The distribution of the Revenue Sharing Pool will be determined on an annual basis by a Revenue Sharing Committee on which the NHLPA will have representation and input.

• For each of the first two years of the CBA, no Club will receive less in total Revenue Sharing than it received in 2011/12.

• Current "Disqualification" criteria in CBA (for Clubs in Top Half of League revenues and Clubs in large media markets) will be removed.

• Existing performance and "reduction" standards and provisions relating to "non-performers" (i.e., CBA 49.3(d)(i) and 49.3(d)(ii)) will be eliminated and will be adjusted as per the NHL’s 7/31 Proposal.

8. Supplemental and Commissioner Discipline:

• Introduction of additional procedural safeguards, including ultimate appeal right to a "neutral" third-party arbitrator with a "clearly erroneous" standard of review.

9. No "Rollback":

• The NHL is not proposing that current SPCs be reduced, re-written or rolled back. Instead, the NHL’s proposal retains all current Players’ SPCs at their current face value for the duration of their terms, subject to the operation of the escrow mechanism in the same manner as it worked under the expired CBA.

10. Players’ Share "Make Whole" Provision:

• The League proposes to make Players "whole" for the absolute reduction in Players’ Share dollars (when compared to 2011/12) that is attributable to the economic terms of the new CBA (the "Share Reduction"). Using an assumed year-over-year growth rate of 5% for League-wide revenues, the new CBA could result in shortfalls from the current level of Players’ Share dollars ($1.883 Billion in 2011/12) of up to $149 million in Year 1 and up to $62 million in Year 2, for which Players will be "made whole." (By Year 3 of the new CBA, Players’ Share dollars should exceed the current level ($1.883 Billion for 2011/12) and no "make whole" will be required.) Any such "shortfalls" in Years 1 and 2 of the new CBA will be computed as a percentage reduction off of the Player’s stated contractual compensation, and will be repaid to the Player as a Deferred Compensation benefit spread over the remaining future years of the Player’s SPC (or if he has no remaining years, in the year following the expiration of his SPC). Player reimbursement for the Share Reduction will be accrued and paid for by the League, and will be chargeable against Players’ Share amounts in future years as Preliminary Benefits. The objective would be to honor all existing SPCs by restoring their "value" on the basis of the now existing level of Players’ Share dollars.

Here are my thoughts regarding this offer.

  • They are actually negotiating. Finally.
  • The fact the HRR is subject to mutual clarification is a bit unsettling.
  • Teams who make bad signings can’t just hide those players in the minors. About time. However, this hurts the journeyman minor-leaguer who makes $200,000. Teams might shy away from paying him to help mentor the kids. This will likely lead to more young players in the AHL, or veterans making only $105,000.
  • I don’t see the NHLPA agreeing to a five-year maximum, but as I wrote earlier, I think a seven-year max is reasonable and one the NHLPA will accept because it impacts such a small group of players. I’d actually prefer a six-year max, with the option for teams to sign their draft picks to seven years. This could entice some players to stay with their team for a longer period of time.
  • I’m not sure entry level deals being shorter will really save much money. It should in reality, because players would only have two years to make a big impact, but considering many teams were already signing young players to extensions before their third year started, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, I’m not sure it will save much money.
  • Arbitration is another window dressing aspect. Last year not one player went to arbitration. I’m not sure either side would choose this as their hill to die on.
  • If they agree on limiting the length of contracts, will free agency be as big of a deal? Will it matter that much if it is seven or eight years of service. Teams won’t be able to front load contracts so Zach Parise and Ryan Suter would either take less money to play together or sacrifice having less cap space available for the team to build around them.
  • Allowing money to be part of trades could lead to more trades. Teams will still need to be smart with their money, but this could make deadline day more exciting.
  • I’m curious to know what % those top-ten teams paid last year into revenue sharing. $200 million seems like a big number, but if you have teams losing $20 million that revenue sharing pot will evaporate quickly.
  • Playing 82 games over a shorter time frame will lead to more injuries. I don’t see anyway the players will agree to an 82-game sched starting November 2nd.
  • If you want a more indepth explanation of the proposal, the NHL has one on their website.

My biggest beef is why did it take until October 16th to get a real proposal on the table? If the NHL had proposed this in the summer, would the NHLPA just scoffed at it? I don’t think so, but I guess we will find out today or Thursday.

Either way this is a good first step. Hopefully the remaining steps come in quick succession.

I don’t expect the NHLPA to love this proposal. I’m sure they aren’t fans of a $59.9 million salary cap. Even though 16 teams are currently over that threshold, according to, I’ll bet Donald Fehr will want that number to be higher. It is all part of a negotiation, but I think this is a decent starting point.


Yesterday the Katz Group sent a letter to Mayor Mandel stating they won’t be speaking to city council today. I respect their decision; however, I’m very interested to see what council will do. I could see them passing a motion to continue negotiating with Katz, but also start looking at other options, which will include building the arena themselves.

You can read the Katz letter here. They’ve stated from the beginning they didn’t want to negotiate in public, and going in front of city council today would have been just that. The main issue is that the city felt the New York deal was a done deal, while the Katz Group doesn’t. 

I’ve spoken to both sides, and on or off the record they both feel they are correct. It is hard to tell which side is telling the truth. Maybe both of them are, and if that is the case, then clearly there has been some horrible miscommunication.

Here’s how I see it.

  • The city needs a new arena, regardless of whether they partner with Katz. Obviously a private/public partnership is the best option, but if they can’t come to a deal the city needs to take the initiative and build the rink themselves. Once the city has a new arena, there is little chance the NHL leaves town.
  • The biggest reason why Bettman is fighting so hard to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix is because Glendale built them a rink. He does not want to leave a market that funded a new facility. If he does that, then the league has set an awful precedent which would likely scare off future cities from doing the same. Get a rink built in Edmonton and the NHL will stay.
  • I think Katz has a valid argument regarding the 35-year agreement. No one can predict how stable the economy will be or how strong the Canadian dollar will be over that time frame. If they include that he will get some of the CRL on the backend if the dollar drops significantly I think that is fair.
  • The main question I have is who is negotiating for the Katz Group, and do they have the ability to actually negotiate. If Mr. Katz has the final say, then he should be in the negotiating room. And if he isn’t then he needs to allow his guys the flexibility to make some decisions.
  • If the city builds the arena themselves they have to ensure there is an open competition to see who builds it, who manages it and they will need to recognize that the Oilers will want some non-game-night revenue. The Oilers are the only team in the NHL that doesn’t receive this funding. If you want your city to have an NHL team, you need to understand this and give them some nights. I’d look at the other 29 teams and find out what the average amount of evenings are and negotiate that number of non-game-nights with the Oilers.
  • The biggest problem with this deal from the start was that it focused too much on the Oilers and not enough on the City. Our city needs to improve our downtown core. We need to attract more corporate growth downtown, and if that happens then residential growth will follow. Thirty years ago we were leading the nation, but we’ve fallen every year since.
  • Every other Canadian city has invested in its business sector core, except Edmonton. If you look at any worthy economic study  it will show that neglect (in the business sector) has cost the city hundreds of millions, if not a billion, dollars in growth.
  • The arena will be the starting point, but it isn’t the end point. Lots more will need to be done, and that’s why ensuring the development around the arena is just as important, if not more, than the arena itself. Studies show that the Columbus arena project has increased taxes up to $30 million a year for the surrounding land. Our city needs to get moving and build the arena.
  • If they can’t come to an agreement with the Katz Group now, then look at building the arena on our own. I’m certain the two parties can still come to an agreement, but the longer we wait the bigger the cost. 

  • Woogie

    One comment on the 35 year location agreement;

    The location agreement was promised outright by Katz from as far back as when he initiated the take over of the Oilers from the EIG.

    It wasn’t an ‘ask’ from the city. I think it has taken on that appearance over time though because it was an item of importance amongst the citizens when polled about the arena.

    It’s a good example of why there is so much frustration building. People want to believe that a deal is a deal and what is said matters but with each passing day it feels more and more like a game of Three Card Monty.

  • Woogie

    Isn’t the big beef about tax money going to the arena? If the city builds it themselves, doesn’t that mean its 100% tax money?

    I don’t get it… Does the city want to use less tax money, or more tax money? Or is the issue about revenue? Is the city happy to spend 100% tax dollars if the revenues go to the city (along with all the risk).

    It appears to me that fundamentally people are just mad that Katz is rich. They want him to pay more. But if he won’t, then the city will be forced to pay it all.

    As much as I don’t understand what Katz is doing, I don’t understand the city. What do the adamant anti Katz councillors want? I’d like them to stand up and outline a plan for the future. Then at least us taxpayers can decide. Instead of going on a Katz witch hunt for some unknown ‘other option’ which might just be a whole lot worse.

    • Woogie

      I’ve been following this pretty closely and I don’t know if anybody really knows what either side really wants. Which is what the problem is.

      I agree with Katz however, under no circumstance should the city negotiate with the Katz group publicly. No other P3 project is negotiated this way so why should they on this one???

    • book¡e

      Chris, the current partnership deal is that the City pays all of the costs (100%) and the subsidizes Katz on an annual basis to the tune of about $4 million a year to use the arena in addition to allowing Katz full control of the arena and all of the profits.

      The alternative is that you build it yourself (thus forcing the league to keep the team here) and then you tell Katz that he can run it and that he can have all of the profits, but for doing so, he needs to pay rent of $5 million per year.

      The first example would give Katz one of the best three deals in the league in addition to being in the fourth best market in the league.

      The second would give him a middle of the road deal while he gets to stay in the 4th best market in the league.

      Katz is getting a bit insane with his demands – that is the problem.

      • DSF

        A couple of points:

        1) The City does not “pay all the costs”. $125 million of the cost is from a ticket surcharge that does NOT EXIST without the Oilers. The surcharge limits the market value of what the Oilers can charge for tickets so it is a real payment by the Oilers.

        2) The City has use of the arena for 4 weeks every year in which, presumably, it will hold events which generate revenue for the city. So, Katz DOES NOT get “all the profits”.

        3) Katz has agreed to pay the City $5.5 million for 35 years as a further contribution to the cost of building the arena. This is Katz’ original $100 million commitment. That he and the City agreed that he could access the capital required through the City borrowing the funds at a much lower rate does not make this “nothing”. It is still $100 million PLUS INTEREST.

        4) The issue that has become a stumbling block has become the amount Katz wants for maintenance and capital improvements over the 35 year term of the agreement. That this is an issue does not change any of the above.

        5) That the maintenance of capital improvements ask came so late is likely a huge mistake on Katz’ part. He says it was always anticipated in the agreement but it appears to have taken council by surprise and has led to all sort of speculation, like yours, that Katz is contributing nothing and getting all the profits. That is just not true.

        The real issue for Edmontonians right now is they are being held hostage….not by Katz but by the economic model of the NHL. Every other team in the league has a lease agreement that allows it to keep all arena revenue whether generated from hockey or not.

        You may disparage the economic model but I doubt that’s going to change things any time soon.

        • First, regarding the money from the ticket surcharge, while it is revenue that the Oilers give up, comes from the people who attend games. If there were no games that money would still be spent, the vast majority of it, within the city, producing revenues for those businesses, etc. Thus, while from the perspective of Katz, this may look like his money, from the perspective of the city as a whole, it is not. It certainly can’t be counted as an injection of $100 million into the project because this injection costs the citizens of the city elsewhere.

          Second, you make it seem like the “$100 million plus interest) is more than $100 million dollars. However, when you consider the time value of money, this ends up being considerably less value than $100 million dollars.

          Third, the economic model of the NHL is irrelevant to the economics of the deal from the perspective of the city. The economic model of the NHL is also irrelevant to the Oilers. The only question that matters is whether they can generate revenues that ensure profitability. Moving an NHL franchise imposes significant costs on that franchise. So long as the Oilers are making money the threat that they move isn’t a sufficient reason to make a bad economic deal.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            Oh brother…. Talk about text book idealistic economic BS.

            Your assertion that ticket tax money is just being shifted around is total bunk. Its based on a totally fictitious world where people sit down, and work out a monthly budget that has a fixed entertainment portion. If I don’t spend money on Oilers games, I’m not going to spend that exact dollar amount on other businesses in Edmonton. That’s an asinine concept.

            Lets say I save $4K on Oilers season tickets. What does a logical person do? Do they drop $4k on steaks at the Keg in South Edmonton Common and the extra big popcorn pack at the theater? Maybe some fancy leather boots from WEM. Highly unlikely… Average person (the “vast majority as you put it”) will save a portion of the money, thne take the family on a trip to Mexico, the wife to Vegas, or maybe take the kids to the Okanagan for 3 weeks next summer instead of 2.

            We live in EDMONTON, people aren’t shifting their $4K season ticket money into all sorts of other great options around town thereby creating some sort of entertainment dollar fixed rate, merely moving money around between all of the businesses in Edmonton. Give me a break….

          • It was a quick calculation so I might be off, but if you buy $4000 worth of Rib Steaks at Skyview Keg (accounting for GST as well) you can get roughly 135 lbs worth of meat. No tip for the wait staff, but they didnt really do anything, did they?

            Money well spent, I’m sure.

          • Karth

            specifically addressing your first statement. I currently live in Calgary and friends and I come up to Edmonton between 8-10 times a year to watch the OIlers play. We stay at a hotel, eat out for all of our meals, and take the LRT in to see the game. Usually we go out for drinks in downtown. If there were no games I would not come to the city. It just would not happen.

    • Chris – You’re totally missing the point.

      The beef isn’t about tax money going into the arena. The beef is that tax money builds an arena AND that Katz then gets virtually all of the profits – concessions, parking, etc. (and not just on nights that the oilers play, but also on nights where there are concerts and other shows). At Rexall, the city paid for and owns the rink, and they (with Northlands) get parking and concession revenues when, for example, Justin Bieber comes to town.

      If the city kept getting that slice of the pie (or even a smaller slice), nobody would have a problem with the amount of tax money going into the rink. However, in the current deal for the new arena, the city bent over backward, basically gave the whole pie to Katz, AND is footing the bill to build it (Katz’s contribution comes from a loan he is getting from the city, and that he is allowed to pay off over 35 years).

      So… after the city offers this sweetheard deal, Katz comes back and now says it’s not enough and he wants more. My response is WTF??!!, and I am amazed that there aren’t more people who share my disdain.

      That’s the beef

      The beef (at least for me) is that the city should get a piece of that pie that is proportional to what it is putting into the new rink.

      The city

  • The fact that the players dont want to take less money even though they all know their cut of the pie is going to drop down to 50% will be the point here that kills this deal.

    It is wholly unreasonable for them to want their earnings to remain at 2011-2012 levels. They were never, EVER, guaranteed the face value of their contracts. They were only guaranteed that number as it reflected against their portion of HRR. If their share drops to 50% then so too should their Salary. Thus escrow.

    Now the PA is crying foul against Escrow and how it will affect their earnings.

    Donald Fehr is a monster.

  • Woogie

    Of course the players want to play all 82 games. That means a full pay check. They all think they are invincible and won’t get hurt.

    I think the Nov 2nd date to play all 82 games is the NHL’s way of saying we need a deal by then. Great way of putting a positive spin on a deadline.

    Great work NHL for coming out first. The fans are again on your side.

    I also don’t understand why everyone hates Bettman. Look at what he has done for the league in his tenure. The league is the best it has ever been IMO.

    • Woah there… I think you’re in the minority with your feelings on the state of a league who’s owners (after attempts at circumventing their own rules ) grossly overpay a player the same WEEK as they are crying about not being able to function under the rules THEY WROTE.

      This is a league that – in pursuit of American television dollars – will force fit a team in a market that doesn’t care about hockey in the name of “growing the game”, and then hold the players financially accountable for a share in those failing markets.

      Bettman promised us during the last lockout reasonable ticket prices and financial sanity moving forward. How did that go? Here we are again for the 3rd time on his watch.
      As long as he keeps eyeing up Vegas or Seattle for another franchise in the name of $$$Growing The Game$$$ we will have bankrupt teams. And we will lose every 5th or 6th season to crap like this.

      How you can say the league is “the best it’s ever been” on October 17 with no hockey being played is beyond me.

  • Woogie

    I think the main problem is this has become about the Oilers and Katz, not the City of Edmonton. Both sides are at fault for that. Need to be looking at the bigger picture, not exclusively focus on the tenant that will be utilizing the building for 12% of the year……

    And the whole billionaire thing has to drop too; he was a billionaire before he bought the Oilers, not because of the Oilers

  • Milli

    I think Bettman has done a great job of turning the tables and putting the pressure on Fehr asnd the PA to get things going now. It sure would be nice to have actual NHL hockey to watch by the time the snow flies!

  • Jason Gregor

    Bettman isn’t fighting to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, he is blackmailing Stockdale to the tune of $20 million a year to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix. This blackmail works because the city is on the hook for debt service payments to pay for the arena they built themselves.

    Having stuck themselves with the bill, Stockdale is better off with the Coyotes than without. However, they are still losing money on the deal and would be better off if they had never built the arena in the first place.

    It’s time to face the facts. An arena in Edmonton will not produce a good return on investment. If it did, it would be built with private money since private money is in the best position to profit from it. If the city builds the arena they will lose hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of the deal. Moreover, having already built the arena they will lose all leverage in negotiations with any NHL team.

    The city does not need an arena. Building an arena with public dollars is bad public policy. If you are a fan of the Oilers building an arena for them does not make it more likely that they will stay, at least on favourable terms for the city. It increases their leverage and decreases theirs.

    The only way to guarantee an NHL team is going to stay in Edmonton long term is if they have an investment in the physical infrastructure of an arena. If you want the Oilers to stay you have to demand private investment in an arena. Anything else is just greasing the skids for future blackmailing opportunities.

    • Parks make very little profit. Waste of time. Bike lanes? Total money loser. Art Gallery? Can you even define Art? It’s just bad public policy to waste tax money on these things. I mean, if it was a good idea some Billionaire would have just done it himself, right? And so help me god, if I see one firework go off on July 1st I want a refund on my taxes.

      It isnt the place of the Government to provide objects or services that “Improve our City” or “Make living in Edmonton more Enjoyable”. Billionaires will take care of that stuff on their own.

      • Reg Dunlop

        Those things you mentioned are public goods. An arena, even a publicly funded one, isn’t a public good any more than a publicly funded shopping mall would be.

        An arena should be built if and only if it provides a return for the people that build it. Not only does a publicly funded arena not provide a return for the city but it creates the conditions required to produce the least desirable result. If the city builds an arena the Oilers won’t leave but only because the city is paying them to stay in the arena they build for them. This would subject the city to 30 years of more or less constant threats and negotiations.

        There is a sweet spot for public investment in this kind of project but it is so much lower than 100% that we can’t even begin to talk about it. This requires significant investment from the Oilers because only the Oilers are in a position to profit from it. If the Oilers aren’t prepared to make the investment then there is nothing the city can, or should, do about it. Cities are not in the business of subsidizing private enterprise. They are in the business of building public infrastructure that allows private enterprise to operate. The city should build the LRT that brings fans to the games, they shouldn’t be building the arena itself.

        • Reg Dunlop

          Fair points. My question then for you is what now. I have seen many solid arguments like yours, but I’ve never seen any next steps. What if Katz walks.

          Assuming we ‘hold tough’ and don’t use tax money. Katz walks away. Then please outline your plan for the future.

          Do we not need a new arena?
          Is Rexall fine as is, and requires no renovations?
          If we need a new arena, or renovations, who pays and how is that still supportive of your points above?

          I’m open to accepting this future, but I’ve yet to see 1 single anti-Katz/anti-arena people outline a plan for the future except to squeeze Katz and get more. What if he does walk?

          If we had that option outlined in clear plain english I believe more people would be able to make a proper decision on how to use their tax money.

        • Obviously we differ on that last point. I think the Arena definitely falls under the same category as some Park on the South Side I will never use, the Art Gallery I have never been in, and Bike lanes that will kill more people than protect.

          If a Billionaire can do it all then great. Good for him. Considering the investment would be the equivalent of 1/4 of Katz entire worth I’d say expecting him to do it is unreasonable. That leaves us with a 40 year old arena and no hope in sight for anyone to build a new one. The Oilers MIGHT survive another 10 years in Rexall, assuming more renovations (done at cost to the city). After that the NHL will have just been a fleeting memory to Edmonton. Naturally RX1’s attractiveness to other potential acts like Concerts and trade shows will continue to decline as well.

          I’m glad we had your leadership in all this. I really want to avoid the potential for happiness if it might cost this city some money.

          • Jason Gregor

            Whether an arena is a public good or not is a technical definition. It simply isn’t. Now that doesn’t mean that all public goods are worthwhile. So your point that you personally would enjoy the arena more than a museum, while reasonable, is beside the point.

            Insofar that there is a “public” good regarding the arena it relates to 1) the revitalization of downtown and 2) the intangible presence of the Oilers in the city (as opposed to your ability to buy tickets which is a clear private good).

            Regarding the former, this is simply an economic question of calculation. On this all economists agree, past a certain point around 20 or 30% of public investment the costs outweigh the gains.

            Regarding the intangible benefit of the Oilers, I agree that it is real. However, building the arena for the Oilers does not guarantee that the Oilers will stay in Edmonton. Quite the contrary it guarantees that the city will perpetually subsidize the Oilers at increasing costs.

            Finally, to Chris, the road forward is to do nothing. Capital will go looking for returns on investment. Edmonton’s economy is in good shape, especially relative to the rest of the world. There are people here with money to spend. So long as this is true the best way for the city to attract investment is to operate efficiently and build infrastructure that allows capital to profit. A pro-business city council does not subsidize individual business. Rather it creates an environment that allows business to operate. Municipal governments have finite funds at their disposal and these funds have to be saved for spending on public goods that cannot be provided any other way. Otherwise you’ll get an indebted city government that can’t do anything at all.

            Public arenas turn cities into beggers. It happens every single time. I ask Edmonton to learn from the mistakes of others.

          • Jason Gregor

            Public arenas turn cities into beggers.

            Can you show me where this has occurred? Did Vancouver have to beg because they spent $550 million on a new football stadium. I’m curious which cities were beggers.

          • Jason Gregor

            This is going to sound glib, but all of them. I would suggest that the economic literature is conclusive: there is not a single example of a publicly funded stadium or arena that produced net benefit for the city.

            There is room for a partnership in which the city or some government provides a minority of funding and there is debate exactly where the line is. However, there is unanimity that past a certain point well below 50% these deals are always bad for cities.

            This is as true for Vancouver as it is for New York City (witness the boondoggle of the new Yankee Stadium), as it is for Stockdale. The only difference is that large cities have the mass to survive their mistakes. Edmonton is in between. It wouldn’t destroy Edmonton but it certainly would present a drain on finances.

            And I say this as someone who absolutely agrees that reducing sprawl should be the number one priority of our municipal government. The arena with a smaller chunk of public funding would be a good way of doing this. However, an arena that is a constant drain on the treasury actually makes it more difficult for the city to engage in the wide range of projects necessary to reduce sprawl, revitalize the core, and increase density.

          • Jason Gregor

            Which is why I said the best deal is a private/public partnership. But now it seems that Katz wants more concessions. They can keep going around in circles forever or make a bold move. Edmonton’s downtown needs a major shot in the arm, and there would be some short term pain, but if they have vision for long-term, which our city desperately needs, then I think it is worth it.

          • The literature is not conclusive, unless there is something very recent on the subject, because the literature has always been geared towards municipalities building stadiums for professional sports teams. Most of the liturature also ignores the benefits to the city of any spin off development as well.

            The City of Edmonton needs to explore what a model will look like for a new arena without the Oilers as a tenant inordr to really get a clear comparable picture of what is at stake.

          • What you ask is that the city of Edmonton have no venue for major events. That is what you ask. This isnt an Oiler issue. The Oilers affect 41 dates in a year. This is much bigger than the Oilers.

            You offer no alternative and it sounds like petty jealousy regarding Katz’ personal wealth or insecurities about power positions.

            The city is on the hook for RX1 and all its renovations. Why arent we telling Northlands to go away when they ask for money? Are we not subsidizing their business right now?

            How will they spend on RX1 updating it to prop up Northlands? Will you be as vocal then as you are now about how the city shouldnt be wasting money on this?

          • Jason Gregor

            Once again you’ve confirmed what ALWAYS happens with the anti-katz/anti-arena people. When I asked what the alternative plan moving forward is, you say “do nothing”. Or “it’ll work out”.

            I’m just asking for simple answers to simple questions.

            1) Do we not need a new arena?

            2) Is Rexall fine as is, and requires no renovations?

            3) If we need a new arena, or renovations, who pays and how is that still supportive of your points about zero tax money being used.

            Until you can suggest a plan beyond “do nothing” you have zero credibility. In the real world you need to have real plans and real alternatives.

          • Whether an arena is a public good or not is a technical definition. It simply isn’t.

            False. Reasserting your position does nothing for your argument.

            For example: I assert that an arena is a public good. It simply is.

            See how pathetic that is?

        • Jason Gregor

          Did you happen to see how much growth Winnipeg and Columbus have had around their new facilities? It generates more tax dollars in the surrounding area. Columbus reported $30 million more in taxes a year, and they are projecting close to $50 million in the near future.

          Bringing more businesses and people to a smaller area lessens tax dollars spent in sprawl. That saves city in the long-term. Arena is one piece of the puzzle, but it is the starting piece because it will generate traffic on numerous evenings.

          • That’s true but it isn’t quite as stark of a difference as people like to suggest.

            There is a finite amount of money that the consumer has to spend. If they spend it in places around the proposed new rink they don’t spend it elsewhere. That means that there are businesses that previously enjoyed consumer dollars which may not be doing as well because the consumer is spending its money elsewhere.

            Suggesting that the money spent around a new facility is somehow “new money” isn’t really economically accurate.

            While there may be new tax dollars generated around the rink tax dollars will certainly be lost as businesses that depended on the money now being spent around the new rink drop off.

            There isn’t really a clear black and white correlation for either the increases or the decreases.

            I agree with the sprawl comment potentially saving some money however people still live in the “sprawl” areas that already exist and you can’t expect that those areas will magically vanish.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Great to see that the revenue- sharing pool is to be increased what with the Oilers bleeding money in a small market. One of Katz’ handlers needs to lead him by the hand to the Vancouver airport, fly him to Edmonton so he can see for himself that we don’t live in igloos and mush dog sleds. Small market? Compared to LA there aren’t a lot of TVs, but in terms of TVs tuned into the NHL… well thats another matter. Bleeding money? I’m not buying that.

    For a ‘private man’ who doesn’t want to negotiate in public, why the photo session in Seattle and now the publically- released letter to council refusing to meet today(and with the implied relocation threat).

    A note from city council: councellor Sloan, who opposed the arena deal, now says council should take over the ongoing negotiations. Why? So she can make sure nothing moves forward, otherwise her husband might find some enjoyment in life fantasizing about the oil in a beautiful new arena. She should stick to negotiating good deals on pot roasts at IGA and go make dinner at home.

  • book¡e

    “Every other Canadian city has invested in its business sector core, except Edmonton. If you look at any worthy economic study it will show that neglect (in the business sector) has cost the city hundreds of millions, if not a billion, dollars in growth. ”

    Such as… any references for this?

    I am supportive of public investment, but I actually don’t know of any ‘studies’ that would show what you are suggesting. Do you mean studies regarding public investment in downtown cores generally or Edmonton specific ones?

    The only peer reviewed studies I can see related to this is that by failing to constrain suburban growth, the City set the path to downtown decay in motion. That I agree with, you can’t save the urban core with Tax dollars if you don’t at least have some modest barriers on suburban Growth (South Edmonton Common is pure evil).

  • Reg Dunlop

    I’ve been following our local economy pretty closely and can’t seem to find the info that you are mentioning here, can you provide more details?

    “The biggest problem with this deal from the start was that it focused too much on the Oilers and not enough on the City. Our city needs to improve our downtown core. We need to attract more corporate growth downtown, and if that happens then residential growth will follow. Thirty years ago we were leading the nation, but we’ve fallen every year since.”

    “Every other Canadian city has invested in its business sector core, except Edmonton. If you look at any worthy economic study it will show that neglect (in the business sector) has cost the city hundreds of millions, if not a billion, dollars in growth. ” (look at page iii & V on this one)

    • Jason Gregor

      None of those links suggested Edmonton has a booming corporate growth. The EEDC talked about how they want to be a top-five city in 20 years, but saying and doing are different.

      Winnipeg has more national based companies than Edmonton. We don’t have major corporations. We need to start having more mid-range ones.

      Quote from Vancouver Sun…
      “Calgary is by far the Canadian leader in concentration of corporate headquarters, with 6.0 corporate head offices per 100,000 people in 2010. Calgary’s concentration is double that of Toronto. In the West, a dramatic shift has occurred. In 1999, British Columbia had the most head office workers in the region, with about 20,000. By 2002, this figure dropped to 16,500, whereas Alberta’s count climbed to over 21,000, and Calgary supplanted Vancouver as Western Canada’s leading head office centre.

      “Calgary is by far the Canadian leader in concentration of corporate headquarters, with 6.0 corporate head offices per 100,000 people in 2010. Calgary’s concentration is double that of Toronto. In the West, a dramatic shift has occurred. In 1999, British Columbia had the most head office workers in the region, with about 20,000. By 2002, this figure dropped to 16,500, whereas Alberta’s count climbed to over 21,000, and Calgary supplanted Vancouver as Western Canada’s leading head office centre.”

      Edmonton isn’t even close. Winnipeg is 5th at 1.2 offices for every 100,000 people. Suggesting Edmonton is keeping pace is inaccurate.

      • I know that Calgary is way out in front when it comes to head offices. But other than the Head Office argument, what else is there? Do you have number of employees and economic spin off from the Head Offices? What exactly does the Head Office argument prove other than prestige?

        The economy of Edmonton is made up of mid-small businesses and we have seen tremendous growth in that area and Edmonton is leading most other cities in this end and our GDP output proves it.

        “Is the absolute number of corporate headquarters an effective measure of corporate headquarter activity?

        No. A better way to measure corporate headquarters activity is to adjust for population. Simply counting the number of corporate head offices without adjusting for the size of the city ignores the real effect that the con- centration of corporate headquarters can have on an economy. This concentration is important because of the spin-off effects associated with corporate headquarters”


        An example would be Suncor Energy. They have over 13,000 employees and most of them are in Fort McMurray, not Calgary where there Head Office is. Also, the majority of Suncor’s investments are in Fort McMurray and there profits are generated (GDP) primarily in Fort McMurray. So which is the bigger benefit? Where the actual number of employees and investment is greater or where the Head Office is located?

        Not trying to be a dick (as I think this is a worthy discussion), but you still haven’t shown the information where you mention “If you look at any worthy economic study it will show that neglect (in the business sector) has cost the city hundreds of millions, if not a billion, dollars in growth” & ” We need to attract more corporate growth downtown, and if that happens then residential growth will follow. Thirty years ago we were leading the nation, but we’ve fallen every year since.”

  • Back from a wonderous 14 day Canada -New England cruise with a 4 day stay in Quebec City . Our tour guide in Halifax ( an attendant at Halifax games ) rants and raves about their star Nathan MacKinnon . Quebec City is excited about hopefully getting an NHL team back .

    I believe we have a deal now that players will ratify if given the opportunity to vote on -just as it stands . Fehr will try and get a little bit more , but bottom line is players will be satisfied with this deal and do not want to squander this oppotunity to get back to playing and supplimentally getting paid . To close to haggle too long and waste any more of season .

    City stands to much to lose by not caving in more to Katz , thus a settlement should be on it’s way , lets hope more expediantly . We are a big city about to get even bigger , and it’s time we went in that direction rather than small market holdbacks . Alberta’s future is bright and growing unlike many others including the economics of U.S. teams .

  • First Peter Pocklington and his lessons in ethics. Then the team was moving to Houston. Years and years of bad teams. Our second lockout in seven years. Now an owner who deems he is above explaining to the public why he needs their money. I want the arena as it is great for Edmonton but not for an owner so arrogant that he can’t explain to the people supplying it why it is necessary. So take the team elsewhere little man if that will make you more money. Life will go on without you. Just don’t go on about how you wanted all of this for the people of Edmonton. Feed your ego elsewhere. Beat it. Thanks for one last reason to give up a game we loved. I hear Seattle can use a gnome.

  • “Playing 82 games over a shorter time frame will lead to more injuries. I’m not sure the players will agree to an 82-game sched starting November 2nd”

    From what I understood Jason was that this would be no different than the regular schedule, except an additional game every 5 weeks?

    The time frame stays basically the same except later into April with an end date around the end of June?

    • Jason Gregor

      That would mean more games in a shorter period of time. More games equals less rest. Players are already pretty taxed, and with more games in shorter time span you will see more injuries I bet.

  • Sloppy Joe wrote:
    “The beef (at least for me) is that the city should get a piece of that pie that is proportional to what it is putting into the new rink”

    I think the increased tax revenue from development in the downtown core, spurred by the building of the new arena, will dwarf any profits that Katz will generate from the new arena. A pretty big piece of pie wouldn’t you say.
    The city just needs to decide if they want to go it alone for cost of the construction of the arena or make a deal with Katz, in which Katz contributes to the cost of building the arena plus guarantees other investments by Katz in the development of the surrounding area.

    • The problem is that this notion of increased tax revenue is not supported by any evidence. At best what will happen is that tax revenue will move around as spending patterns change. Now I happen to want that too happen. However, there is a limit to how much debt government should take on to achieve my own personal goals.


      This has nothing to do with Katz, or jealousy. It is simply the economics of the issue of which, outside of this site, there is near unanimous agreement. To suggest otherwise, is to indicate your inability to understand what you are talking about.

      Building an arena is a bad economic decision for the city. That’s simply a fact. It has nothing to do with jealousy of Katz or anyone else.

      • But why should economics be the only factor in the discussion? Surely the government has more duties than making a profit. Failure to include other aspects of the benefits that an arena provides is the biggest downfall here. I need more than just an economists report to determine whether the city should build an Arena.

        How can you even focus on the economics of the situation without addressing how the city will be spending the same money renovating RX1?

  • Bloodsweatandoil

    Hey Jason,
    As an Oiler fan and not an Edmontonian. We can probably all agree that the $6 million/year subsidy that Katz’s group now needs wasn’t the heavy staw that broke the camels back, but did’nt help the matter.
    Would’nt or could’nt that subsidy be the NHL’s problem? Would the NHL not help out small market clubs like this in that aspect?

  • DSF wrote:

    “The real issue for Edmontonians right now is they are being held hostage….not by Katz but by the economic model of the NHL. Every other team in the league has a lease agreement that allows it to keep all arena revenue whether generated from hockey or not.”

    That’s simply not true – and it misses the mark by a country mile. For example – the Rangers don’t get all revenue at MSG for all events. In fact they get very little of it. The Knicks get a piece of that pie – and all of the big pro boxing events at those places get their own concessions too.

    Or consider Les Habs. The Molsons built that rink with 100% private money, so yeah, they get all of the revenues – but you can’t compare that with Edmonton’s situation – it’s apples and oranges.

    In seattle, where Katz was threatening to move, he would only have gotten arena revenue for something like 40 non-NHL nights.

    Sure there are teams like Florida who have sweetheard deals where they get all non-NHL revenues, that is one end of the spectrum. There are deals at the other end of the spectrum too, and the city of Edmonton shouldn’t have to bend over for Katz with no vaseline just becuase that’s what happened in some other citites (and definitely not all of them, as you claim).

    The current deal was very generous to Katz IMO, and I was fine with that, but this is turning into extortion, and I am quite happy that the city seems to be drawing a line in the sand.

  • “•I’m curious to know what % those top-ten teams paid last year into revenue sharing. $200 million seems like a big number, but if you have teams losing $20 million that revenue sharing pot will evaporate quickly.”

    I had heard that the previous revenue pool was $150 million (don’t know it that’s true). The Forbes Magazine analysis for 2010-2011 referred to by David Staples in today’s Journal showed that seventeen teams with a net operating loss. Thirteen of those teams had losses of over $5 Million, led by Phoenix with a $24.4 Million loss. Presumably, those losses were after revenue sharing because Phoenix was shown to have revenues of $70 million, which is in no way realistic unless it includes a considerable amount of shared revenues. So this is a long way of saying that I agree with you and a $200 Million pool could evaporate very quickly unless player salaries are controlled (and a 50/50 split should accomplish that).

    On the Edmonton front, The Oilers were shown to have revenues of $96 Million (about the middle of the pack) with an operating profit of $17.3 Million (fifth best). Since the Oilers spent close to the CAP on players salaries in 2010-2011, the reason likely appears to be at least partly due to having a favourable arena deal.

    It appears to me that there is huge potential for Katz to do well with a new arena, especially in the short to medium term. Therefore, I think he should take on more of the risk, which could be ameliorated as Staples suggests by a shorter term location agreement (perhaps 25 years instead of 35).

  • Quick comment regarding the statement “Every other Canadian city has invested in its business sector core, except Edmonton”:

    Investing in a city’s business core, I would think, is a very good idea for the city’s vibrancy and economy. But my mind would be blown if it’s true that every other Canadian city has invested more into its business sector core. I’m originally from Windsor, Ontario, and I don’t think you could show me a sadder looking downtown. It basically looks like ruins and has more vacant buildings than populated ones and the only businesses sustainable seem to be bars or shwarma places.

  • I’d be willing to bet that the council that rejects Katz is in bed with Northlands.

    I’d also be willing to bet that the hippie broad who got funded for her stupid bike lanes knows and is company with someone on the council. Why else in their right mind would they aprove that?

    This city needs a dictator!

  • ubermiguel

    “If the city builds the arena themselves they have to ensure there is an open competition to see who builds it, who manages it and they will need to recognize that the Oilers will want some non-game-night revenue. The Oilers are the only team in the NHL that doesn’t receive this funding. If you want your city to have an NHL team, you need to understand this and give them some nights. I’d look at the other 29 teams and find out what the average amount of evenings are and negotiate that number of non-game-nights with the Oilers.”

    Maybe the easiest way to divide it is the Oilers get all revenue during the season, the City gets it during the off-season. The Oilers get the majority of the year but the City gets the prime summer months for concerts.

  • Karth

    “The more I think about it, the more I wonder if Katz’ recent actions are ploys to get City to build it alone, then force a sweetheart lease ”

    A retweet that just came across my twitter from someone who describes themselves as an economist. It goes to show what the economic thinking. Building an arena is a bad idea. It gives the Oilers more leverage not less.

    The only way to ensure that the Oilers stay in Edmonton long-term is if they invest heavily in the arena. Building an arena without a tenant decreases the leverage the city has in all future negotiations. It’s a bad idea.

    As to what to do instead. The answer really is nothing. The city doesn’t need an arena. If someone wants to build an arena under a partnership that makes sense, they should. Until then, they should wait. Sometimes doing nothing is the best form of public policy.

    Holding firm has no risk here. If Edmonton doesn’t build an arena it makes it easier for Calgary not to build an arena. The age of the publicly funded arena is over. Governments are cash strapped from here to eternity and there is no economic justification for this kind of infrastructure. The last city to build one is going to look like fools for years to come.

    You’ll notice that the proposed Seattle and Markham deals involve much less public spending than the current Edmonton deal that isn’t good enough for Katz. I’d swallow the Seattle deal. Unfortunately, the Seattle deal isn’t on the table.

    • 1) Doing nothing is not great public policy. Doing nothing meant waiting until the millenium to have a ring road, not having LRT access to the whole city, and having a Downtown that is a blight on the community.

      2) Not building an Arena does NOT make economic sense. The old Arena is falling apart and outdated and millions will be spent renovating it on behalf of Northlands. Spending millions that will never be returned and merely delay the inevitable is a waste.

      3) The Seattle deal is ONLY contingent on them acquiring an NBA team back. No team, No deal.

      By your unwillingness to acknowledge the current cost of renovating RX1 I’m beginning to think you sit on the Board for Northlands.

      • You do realize that all public funding involves opportunity costs. Doing nothing on the arena does not mean doing nothing at all. Indeed, building the arena means that there is less money for things like “ring roads,” “LRTs,” and other forms of downtown development.

        You can’t have everything and a massively expensive publicly funded arena is a net drain on everything else the city has to do. It is because I think the city should be building roads and light rail systems that I don’t think they should be building arenas just to make you happy (which is the only argument you’ve given why the arena should be built). The arena would make me happy too. I like hockey and work right beside it. Unfortunately those aren’t reasons, they are preferences. City policy can’t be based on preferences at the expense of economics.

        • Government Policy cant ignore all benefits based solely on Economics. If that were the case we wouldnt have publicly funded healthcare insurance or many other social programs that return very little of the money governments invest. We wouldnt have those dainty parks for the kiddies, or the museums, or the Art Galleries.

          And still you refuse to acknowledge that a large portion of the proposed Downtown Arena money will be spent renovating the current arena anyway. P*ssed away for nothing.

          Obviously we have different ideas about the role of Government, but, that aside, you still havent even addressed the fact that the money you are so fervently against being spent on fixing the downtown is going to be wasted on renovating a 40 year old Arena that needs to be replaced anyway.

        • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

          i trust you were voicing the same concerns for the art gallery and every other city project that involved tax dollars but didnt have a benefit to every citizen in the city?

    • Reg Dunlop

      ‘The last city to build one is going to look like fools for years to come’. I guess that means Quebec will be the laughing stock. With the city and province splitting costs, hopefully the NHL team that will be playing there eases some of the shame locals will feel. And, of course, the fact that equalization payments from Alberta oil will actually be picking up the tab.

      You’re right. Spending tax dollars on infrastructure such as a new arena is ridiculous. In fact, spending on roads and transit is also a waste. Everyone has a SUV, let them drive on gravel. Bridges? People can wait for the river to freeze over. Think of all the money we can save! Enough for an expansion on the Art Gallery! If only there was more chunks of metal welded together and more smears of paint…it would be well worth it to get a seasons pass.

  • It seems that most are demonizing Katz but it’s starting to look like the city is the bully. Katz has nearly zero chance moving the team whether he makes money or not. Edmonton has NOT been a good hockey market historically. It was only 6 years ago that they were in real trouble. We may only be 6 years away from a weak dollar and slowing oil economy. Katz is the ONLY one with real risk. If he starts losing 30 million a year, no one is going to care.

    If the city contemplates building their own building then renting to Katz, they are really saying is they will build the building and then ram a bad deal down his throat. The NHL is unlikely to let him leave, he’s got a quarter billion invested in a team that historically loses money and there won’t be locals lining up to buy the team. He’d have pretty much no leverage.

    Get this bloody deal done. It’s the best thing for the city.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      oh poor katz tssk tssk BARF

      Beemer have you not realized every action by Katz recently, has been met equally in reciprocation by the city?

      He goes to Seattle, council responds

      He goes public PR, city does

      wake up

      He’s been the bully all along, trying to exploit the maximum to almost kill the deal

      • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

        I sorta of agree with Beemer, the city is being a little passive aggressive, If I am negotiating with a group of people in confidence, and they decide to blindside me by taking our negotiations public when we had likely agreed to make a joint public annoucment at the conclusion of the negotiations. I have to consider that’s somebody I don’t want to do business with.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    You don’t get to decide for yourselves what words mean. A public good isn’t a thing that is good for the public. Rather a public good is a thing in which the enjoyment of it by one person does not diminish the ability of another to enjoy it, and in which no member of the public can be excluded from enjoying it.

    Admission to any arena is determined by market price and hence neither of these conditions apply. So while I agree that governments have the responsibility to act in ways that go beyond sheer calculation of economic interest those activities must b e restricted to public goods. Otherwise government ceases to be government of the people and becomes a party of special interest.

    Given the particular interest being served here the only justification for an arena is economic and that justification does not pass external analysis

    You don’t have to believe me. Spend a few minutes on google. You won’t find anyone outside of this thread who thinks the arena is a good deal.

    The reason is simple: arenas do not generate sufficient revenue to justify their costs. The answer is also simple. Build a less expensive arena.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      didnt stauffer just have a economics professor from a University in Columbus who said essentially the opposite?

      The coles notes version of the interview was that he was basically the same as you in regards to his stance on the whole arena district actually being worth it. He took the time and examined the numbers, and was shocked at what he found…(hint: he changed his mind)

      i can try and find the link to the audio if you want.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Every other Canadian city has invested in its business sector core, except Edmonton. If you look at any worthy economic study it will show that neglect (in the business sector) has cost the city hundreds of millions, if not a billion, dollars in growth. – Gregor

    Gregor, you may not like it or value it but the city hall, art Gallery, Churchill square and now a museum is investment in the downtown core, you are ignoring that flat out

    and development is already occurring downtown already

    I’m glad the city is taking the initiative, as for non game nights that is a percentage at best since Katz is putting nothing, to give him the NHL average is too rich

  • wiseguy

    I want a new arena for the city, and like most others, do not like the way the Katz Group has gone about holding the city and fans hostage with the constant veiled threats of the team leaving. I agree that the NHL have many other fires to put out before they would even entertain Katz’s request to move the team, especially if construction of a new city funded building had started.

    To call Katz’s bluff, the city should build the arena, eliminate the winter garden that would join to Katz’s land south of the area, replacing it with a 50 foot high wall with a giant mural of a middle finger*. All entrances to the arena, pedways, parking etc. should be built to the north or west. The city should then vote on a CRL tax of 1000% on any business or property within the boundaries defined by land that Katz owns. That should force him to sell it cheaply.

    *absurd idea but sure makes me happy to imagine it happening