LET'S HEAR IT FROM THE MAN

Robin Brownlee
September 13 2012 10:13PM

As a taxpayer in Edmonton, I'd like to hear what Daryl Katz has to say about the state of the downtown arena and why he wants more of my money to build it. I'm guessing I'm not alone.

I want to hear what Katz's vision for the project is. I want to hear why he wants changes made to the framework of $450-million a deal that was put in place months ago. I want to hear he's committed to doing what it takes to drag the project from conceptual drawings and slick videos to reality. And I want to hear it from him, not a hired mouthpiece.

When I expressed the same sentiment the other night on Twitter, more than one person told me I was either nuts or naïve – I think the exact terminology was that I was "dreaming in Technicolor." Those people might be right, but I'm hoping they’re wrong. If you don't ask (not that Katz has ever read a single word I've written), you don't get.

Given his obvious aversion to speaking publicly and his preference of staying out of the spotlight – Katz is the antithesis of former owner Peter Pocklington in that regard – I have no doubt the Rexall billionaire is reluctant to jump in front of a microphone, but if ever there was a time, I'd suggest it's now.

BE THE FRONT MAN

I don't want or expect Katz to unveil every single detail of the negotiations that are going on behind closed doors with members of city council. That's not the way you do business, not that a guy who has more money in his couch cushions than I do in the bank needs any advice from me on that front.

What I do want is for Katz to make his pitch. As the individual with the most to gain (and to lose), as the individual with the most skin in the game (even if we don't think it's enough), I want him to step out from behind his hired help and be the front man. Explain the vision. Sell the vision. Not with a carefully worded news release. Not through his spinners. Face-to-face with the people he'll be partnering with – the taxpayers. On the record.

Stepping in front of the public isn't going to change the fact that the process of negotiating and the ink and paperwork on any deal will be done privately, but I'd like to see Katz do what mayor Stephen Mandel has done on more than one occasion during the process – look people in the eye and offer his take.

I don't see any downside for Katz. Those opposed to spending one dime of public money on a "new arena for a billionaire" aren't going to be swayed by anything Katz has to say, even if it's genuine and heartfelt. Those prone to ripping Katz no matter what the message will avail themselves of that opportunity if he steps forward to have his say. They are the vocal minority.

My best guess is the vast majority of people, those who'll have a stake in the project and who have spent years trying to follow along, are willing to listen to reason. If Katz wants changes in the framework the project, it's not too much to ask that he step outside of his comfort zone and explain why the Big Ask is getting bigger, and in his own words, to the citizens of Edmonton. Sell his vision, Make his case.

He'll never have a more captive audience.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 David S
September 13 2012, 10:22PM
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Agreed. The ask isn't so much the cost of the arena (now $475M) as the $6M a year he wants for building operation and maintenance (per David Staples tonight).

He's not doing himself or the project any favors by letting his spokespeople (who are hard-ass lawyers, not PR experts) relay the message either.

I'm a fan of what Katz is trying to accomplish but I think he's being given some very bad advice with respect to selling the vision and possibilities this sort of project could make come true for both fans and the city at large.

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#2 Aron S
September 13 2012, 10:25PM
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Staples and Spector were having a good conversation on this very topic on Spector's show this afternoon. Katz needs to get out in front of this, at least to put to rest all of the speculation, conspiracy, and suspicion that comes along with his ridiculous secrecy.

When we all have a stake in it (not just in the form of tax dollars), we want to know that someone is leading the charge. I think Mandel is doing a great job, but if he's the only mouthpiece facing the media than Katz looks more like a fool for not sharing his vision.

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#3 Pouzar99
September 13 2012, 10:32PM
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The deal as it stands is a good one for Katz. $6 million a year, or whatever the figure is, is totally ridiculous. We need shovels in the ground or the costs will just go up and up.

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#4 Pouzar99
September 13 2012, 10:32PM
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The deal as it stands is a good one for Katz. $6 million a year, or whatever the figure is, is totally ridiculous. We need shovels in the ground or the costs will just go up and up.

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#5 jimmy
September 13 2012, 10:39PM
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i dont care what kates have to say, i just want the government to build the thing already, the reason why the government doesnt want to own it brownlee is because it doesnt make enough money to pay 4% back on 500 million, and kates does not have 500 million sitting in the bank account, and even if he did he would still get a loan for it, its smart business, its also smart business to get as much as you can out of the government

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#6 jimmy
September 13 2012, 10:40PM
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sorry katz

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#7 godot10
September 13 2012, 10:44PM
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I supported public money for the arena. I supported the original deal. I would even support the arena if the cost went to $500 million.

But hell no to operating subsidies. Katz is being given the keys to a spanking new arena for 25 cents on the dollar. If he can't operate at a profit that is his and the Oilers problem.

Katz just effed everyone who stuck their neck out for public money.

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#8 Calvin
September 13 2012, 10:59PM
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Well said RB. Besides, while he's outside in the real world, he can pay a visit to Morgan Freeman and get a new batch of high-tech gadgets.

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#9 @NateInVegas
September 13 2012, 11:10PM
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Maybe Edmonton needs a Katz-Signal? Even Bruce Wayne would leave his manor/cave when called upon.

The focus should be on a new arena, not the entertainment district. Once the arena is built, the surrounding area will transform itself.

If Katz wants to move the Oilers, I doubt his $20M home and $70M land downtown will be worth the difference he's asking for now.

Katz won't be the primary tanant in Seattle. He won't own the building in a non-hockey market like KC. Does Katz wants anything to do with a Parti Quebecois government in La Belle Province? It's dirty pool.

Then again, it never hurts to ask for more. At least wait until a shovel breaks ground...

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#10 gongshow
September 13 2012, 11:28PM
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So, I'm not entirely sure that I have this straight, but it sounds like DK (or his henchmen) has said that he'll pay $3 to 4 mill per year (by amortizing his $100 m contribution) to be able to put his two sports teams in a brand new building filled with more seats and more luxury boxes AND he gets all other revenue from concessions, parking etc AND he gets all of the operating revenue from every other event that shows up at Rexall 2 AND he gets to see all of his land surrounding the new arena jump in value. THEN he says he also needs $6 mill from the taxpayers per year to run the place?

The dude has serious cojones.

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#11 book¡e
September 13 2012, 11:37PM
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I would like him to get up on a stage in a monkey suit and do an interpretive dance that explains his position on the arena.

Who cares if he gets behind a microphone. Some people suck at that and end up saying stupid things because they are nervous. Why is it needed?

All I care about is the deal. If Katz presents a well thought out document that explains the deal he is looking for that is a clearer presentation than any thing he can do mumbling from behind a microphone.

The problem with Katz is that his group and he have done a terrible PR job on this thing. It was not a hard sell and they have just made it terrible with their inability to communicate and with their approach.

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#12 NewAgeSys
September 14 2012, 06:53AM
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I think we can look a wee bit deeper into this downtown revitalisation issue and it is critical to do this because a hockey arena is just the BASE of a much bigger picture,we as fans think its the other way around.

Our city councillors are inexperienced playing in the tall grass,we are severely undermanaged in critical areas here and now in Edmonton.

No one has been able to ever turn the downtown area around,and this is a very large city,look up our population and compare it to American citys so you can account for the Hollywood effect and you will see how big we really are,we are larger than a lot of American cities you might not consider us to be in the same league as.

Turning around a spiralling downtown area in a city this size isnt exactly something we see very often,this level of degredation we are seeing here in Edmonton is usually terminal.If we have a chance to revitalise our downtown we need to be much more pro-active,this city was keeping an NHL team through the good hearts and pocketbooks of a lot of individuals for a long time and now that we have a secure owner willing to put up real money we need to act now and add more to the deal.

Imagine what this could mean,many seniors would buy condos downtown ,many young people would also gravitate there,this is a Canadian city and it is only right that we revitalise the center and keep all major and quality services for everyone centralised,who wants to have to drive all over when you are a senior,the only thing keeping people out of downtown was and still is the danger from the people our city decides to allow to loiter there.We can move the bus stop and the Centers,we can make them peripheral instead of central,why do you think all the bums and homeless people,drunks and drug addicts go downtown??Because it is central,same reason all the jailbirds in Canada go to the West Coast when they get out of prison--its the best place to be,the internet is full of statistical surveys.

We need the help here and now,even in Oil City we need help sometimes,money comes and goes regardless,we are earning and paying regardeless so why not build for a future beyond Calgary,because when we lose our Boomers if we arent in a position to be a superior spot for the provincial and federal government to put dollars we are in trouble.

Why doesnt someone do a survey of how much money overall could be pumped into our city,and remember that there is nowhere else in Canada that has our skilled tradesperson availability and numbers.

Lets anti-up and get it done already,booms will come and booms will go and we seem to have Calgary pinned to the floor finally,the recession clipped their wings,now whoever starts getting provincial and federal money first will as usual rebound faster,so we have yet another dynamic reason to put up more cash,centralising services will save the city money in the long run .

As it is seniors are advertised as heading southwest in droves,the tide needs to be turned soon as they WILL follow each other for security and safety in numbers.

Put up the bucks ,money is made to be spent and we are constantly in debt,thats the game,we alreay spent ten years working the other side,now lets dive in and get wet,lets rack up some huge bills and make some moves before Calgarians wise up and do it first somehow.

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#13 Evilas
September 14 2012, 08:18AM
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The city of Calgary sold the Saddledome to the Flames for approx $40 M. Why can't Edmonton do similar things? Correct me if I am wrong, but no private $'s were spent on the 'dome.

I agree with RB, Katz needs to be more involved, and the sentiment has been stated during this entire process. The injection of private money into this project should be seen as a blessing, rather than as a curse. Hopefully this can move forward sooner, rather than later.....

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#14 ubermiguel
September 14 2012, 08:33AM
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"That's not the way you do business, not that a guy who has more money in his couch cushions than I do in the bank needs any advice from me on that front." Katz needs some good PR advice, and yours is better than what he's getting. Private deals are one thing, but deals involving public funds need to be transparent. Katz has never even had to deal with shareholders, and it shows, he's terrible at dealing with the public.

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#15 LoDog
September 14 2012, 08:51AM
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I have not seen the reports of Katz wanting 6 million a year in operating subsidy but if true that's a deal breaker for me. And I want this arena in a bad way.

He was to pay 5.5 a year to pay off the loan. Now he doesn't even want to pay that?

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#16 rubbertrout
September 14 2012, 09:00AM
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Evilas wrote:

The city of Calgary sold the Saddledome to the Flames for approx $40 M. Why can't Edmonton do similar things? Correct me if I am wrong, but no private $'s were spent on the 'dome.

I agree with RB, Katz needs to be more involved, and the sentiment has been stated during this entire process. The injection of private money into this project should be seen as a blessing, rather than as a curse. Hopefully this can move forward sooner, rather than later.....

Wasn't the Dome built for the Olympics? I'd bet dollars to donuts that a big whack of public funding went into it.

The Flames don't own the Dome. The City owns it through its foundation. The Stampede used to operate it for a big chunk of the concession revenues but the Flames bought out that contract and now they run it, but don't own it.

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#17 Rick
September 14 2012, 09:14AM
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I think most people are guilty of not looking beyond Katz's cheque book when it came to this development when they should have been looking closer at his resume.

I find it very disturbing that the frame work of the deal was based on something that Katz is now suggesting is unsustainable from his end, atleast according to the info that David Staples is putting out there, this coming out 3 or 4 years after his initial expression of interest in the project.

He really needs to stand up and explain why the City, by moving forward, they/we should show any confidence in his ability to not just execute these projects but operate them successfully once they are completed when his very basic business model waseemingly not based on reality. Because if he ultimately can't, it will be the city on the hook to the pick up the pieces and salvage a big and desperate part of downtown.

He needs to explain how going to a design team with the instructions to provide a facility based strictly on the cosmetics and a bling factor wouldn't affect;

a) the construction budget b) operating costs c) maintenance costs over the life of the facility

these are all things that he had an agreed upon interest on and control of and yet didn't seem to make a correct link on the ramifications.

It could be considered excusable for Katz the individual and chief cheque signer to not put it all together but his handlers/team seem to be doing him a real dis-service here.

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#18 madjam
September 14 2012, 09:46AM
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Sell Rexall place to Katz and let him put his $100M into upgrading it .

If it ever gets to a taxpayer vote on current project it will be same fate as Omniplex proposal - no . Katz would be wasting his time trying to garner taxpayer sentiments .

City can recover it's interim investment by selling off the lands, etc. it purchased . Other investors and options should abound for downtown .

Can't imagine Oilers losing franchise playing in an upgraded Rexall to begin with , even if that might require putting Oilers up for sale .

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#19 VMR
September 14 2012, 09:49AM
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I dont think it matters whether he speaks or not. City council gave him as much of a sweatheart deal as they could possibly get away with and it was pretty clear what there max contribution was going to be and that cost overruns were up to the builder and or Katz to work out. I think it's time to look at cutting corners, find cheaper ways to get it done or someone else willing to put money into the pot.

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#20 steelymac
September 14 2012, 10:01AM
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Between Bettman-Fehr and Katz-city crap Im getting pretty sick of all the egos in the sport I love.

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#21 Zamboni Driver
September 14 2012, 10:06AM
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Ahh blind faith, it's a lovely thing.

Check yourself, please.

The City IS putting money in already. A SH&TLOAD - they couldn't have a bigger cheerleader in Mandel.

Then these geniuses say..

"Oh yeah, the $100 mil we were going to pay up. Then we decided to spread that out over 20 years. Yeah, we'll still do that.

But we want the City to give us $6 million per year."

Now say what you want about bureaucrats, I'm PRETTY SURE one or two of them have advanced abacuses to do the math.

By the way...the Oilers DO have a professional PR hack out there.

12 noon every day on CHED.

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#22 EHH Team
September 14 2012, 11:01AM
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I have shared season tickets since 1978-79 (the last year of the WHA)and have supported the Oilers unwaveringly through the good years and the bad. I have showed support for a new arena on every poll I have been able to participate in. I reversed my support for Linda Sloan because of her intansigent position against the arena. I would support applying provincial infrastructure funds up to $100 million and a 50/50 share of cost overruns with Katz up to a total project cost of $500 million.

However, the Katz Group's seeking $6 million or so annually to support operating costs goes too far. It totally removes his risk and puts an unfair tax burden on the city.

If the Katz Group does not remove this ask, I will no longer support the project.

I would be interested to hear what Katz has to say, but I don't expect him to change my opinion.

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#23 Zamboni Driver
September 14 2012, 11:04AM
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The other bit that is my absolute favourite...

The Sell Out on CHED (and the rest of the blind faith cheerleaders) talking about risk and cost.

Never any mention of

.....INCOME......

Including non-Oilers.

No mention other than "That's fair because that's what the rest of the NHL gets."

Ahh yes.

The brilliant business model that is the NHL. That's what we should follow.

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#25 Quicksilver ballet
September 14 2012, 11:15AM
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Is it possible, with all his orchestrated press conferences, he's out of his comfort zone without his people to put forth a well thought out response behind him? The guy probably has speech writers on staff for the few orchestrated availabilities he deems nessessary. On his own, Katz, without adequate time (for his staff) to respond, he's very likey to paint himself into a corner.

With all the attention he's received this week, look for him to have his speech writers prepare an intellingent response a week or two down the road.

Katz can control Bob Stauffer, but he can't insulate himself from the rest of the MSM here in town. What you're asking for (no control over the questioning demanding unplanned responses) is very unlikely to ever happen. Getting the best answers money can buy from Katz' peeps may take weeks/months.

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#26 Zamboni Driver
September 14 2012, 11:17AM
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Not contempt, Robin. Profound disappointment.

Don't know that I would have said 'no' to being wined and dined by a bajillionaire either, but I don't know that I would have sold myself as being an 'analyst' or part of the 'media' any longer.

As for sarcasm...with the politics of the absurd going 'round and 'round, it's the only way I can manage to laugh from time to time, rather than weep.

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#27 Harlie
September 14 2012, 11:37AM
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Katz mumble and bumbles more than Dustin Hoffman and Bob Newhart combined. Good luck getting the straight goods from him.

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#28 Pucker
September 14 2012, 12:45PM
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With that 6M$ thing, I've gone from an avid supporter to putting the Katz Group in a group with Peter Pocklington.

I may be wrong but it appears he wants no risk, to control the profits on the arena and I'm thinking he's putting very little, if any cash (relatively typing) into this.

I was also anti-Northlands but maybe the thing to do now is to have them and city build a nice new arena . . take all the risks and lease it to an NHL team.

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#29 george
September 14 2012, 01:00PM
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I support the Oilers and I support a new arens in the downtown core. I respect immensely Mr.Katz and his ambition and vison for the city. I realize that he is a private man and as such deserves this respect. However his group and the city are at a massive impasse; and the citizens of this great city need to hear from Mr.Katz himself. To articulate his vision oce more and sell Edmontonians on his restructured pursuits. I feel that this needs to be done in order to move forward. He is a very intelligent man, and I feel he will realize this and address our city. Only then can we truly move on.

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#30 book¡e
September 14 2012, 04:01PM
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At some point doesn't it just become cheaper for the city to buy the Oilers and build a rink for them?

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#31 EHH Tea
September 14 2012, 04:21PM
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book¡e wrote:

At some point doesn't it just become cheaper for the city to buy the Oilers and build a rink for them?

We're probably at that point but the league governors would never approve the ownership.

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#32 David S
September 14 2012, 04:25PM
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Pucker wrote:

With that 6M$ thing, I've gone from an avid supporter to putting the Katz Group in a group with Peter Pocklington.

I may be wrong but it appears he wants no risk, to control the profits on the arena and I'm thinking he's putting very little, if any cash (relatively typing) into this.

I was also anti-Northlands but maybe the thing to do now is to have them and city build a nice new arena . . take all the risks and lease it to an NHL team.

Northlands would certainly build a nice new arena for about the same money as what Katz proposes. And the city would pay for every cent of it. They'd build on Northlands property and not one single cent of anicillary development would occur outside of perhaps a few new shiny food trucks on game nights.

THAT'S the problem. We need a new arena. So either you spend the cash at Northlands or you spend it downtown. But be assured, a huge whack of cash will be spent by the city either way.

Unfortunately this means Katz has all the chips. The money is better spent downtown. He knows it and city council knows it. If anything, the city needs to find a way to get Katz to offset their expense far more than Katz needs the city to offset his expense.

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#33 Dave
September 14 2012, 06:16PM
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The only way Northlands could build an arena is if Edmonton and Alberta taxpayers loan them the money. I guess too they could issue bonds .

They would have to build up town or no loan.

Katz would not be happy because he could not get revenue from the non hockey nights as what happens in other NHL cities. The Northlands option is not a go for the Oilers.

I would suggest that the city forces Northlands to downsize Rexall Place once the new arena gets built .. We do not want to subsidize northlands while making the new arena less profitable. I agree with Katz on that issue. So if that is the stumbling block, the city should raise property taxes on Northlands until they capitulate. Really Northlands is "us" .. do we need Northlands - an agricultural society in 2015 ?

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#34 David S
September 14 2012, 08:27PM
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There's no way a city of this size can support two arenas. That's just reality. Katz asking for the $6M is his way of saying this.

There's tremendous risk competing with RX1 because all they have to do is undercut his event bids. They have a location that's paid in full so their overhead is going to be far lower. Any act that operates on a budget (as most do) would be forced to consider playing in a better venue and taking home less in gate receipts or playing in a crappy venue and taking home more.

Without the certainty of being able to fill the barn a minimum number of days, I can easily see why Katz is asking for the compensation.

My guess is he figured RX1 would be out of business by the time RX2 opened. There's been no indication Northlands will be anything less than a huge pain in the butt when it comes to calculating operating revenue. Thus they (Katz Group) have to assume a conservative revenue forecast and ask the city to make up the potential shortfall.

But they knew all that a long time ago. This may be a last ditch attempt to sewer Northlnds' ability to compete - shut RX1 down in effect.

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#35 Oilers Al
September 14 2012, 11:16PM
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Amazing, 4 1/2 years later these guys still have not figured this out. Seems pretty mickymouse, when you have half billion dollar project and this curly haired cowboy is dicking around with $6 million dollars on maintaince fees[ I know you amortize it over 35 years and its big bucks. But I would think this cost would be an expense and a write off ? Further more if you add 10% your concession charges .So @ $20 per person , thats roughly $350 k per event. Gives you $35k per event x 200 events,,, you have $7million dollars to cover those costs.I know like all greedy owners, he,ll want to put he $7 ml in his pocket.

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#36 David S
September 15 2012, 12:27AM
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Oilers Al wrote:

Amazing, 4 1/2 years later these guys still have not figured this out. Seems pretty mickymouse, when you have half billion dollar project and this curly haired cowboy is dicking around with $6 million dollars on maintaince fees[ I know you amortize it over 35 years and its big bucks. But I would think this cost would be an expense and a write off ? Further more if you add 10% your concession charges .So @ $20 per person , thats roughly $350 k per event. Gives you $35k per event x 200 events,,, you have $7million dollars to cover those costs.I know like all greedy owners, he,ll want to put he $7 ml in his pocket.

Problem is, it's very likely he won't have 200 events as long as Northlands keeps RX1 open for business.

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#37 Reagan
September 15 2012, 07:58AM
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After the dust settles from this bamboozlement the only winner will be Northlands. With a lockout he is now imminent It would be a piece of cake for northands to retro fit rexall and say screw it to the city and Katz for trying to build this stupid monster downtown that no one can afford... The City cant afford it, katz will put money upfront but wants revenues and repayment every year, and a couple companies with deep pockets To pay a share... You Taxpayers that wanna soak another 30 Years of your hard earned dollars not only to pay for the arena, but also fund Mr Katz's pockets to pay those over priced hockey players that may create another dynasty here... I'll give you one thing Katz is not stupid, but he'd foreclose on a family member in second if he could make a buck. YOU the taxpayer, is the poor sucker that is going to get hustled...

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#38 NewAgeSys
September 15 2012, 10:02AM
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David S wrote:

There's no way a city of this size can support two arenas. That's just reality. Katz asking for the $6M is his way of saying this.

There's tremendous risk competing with RX1 because all they have to do is undercut his event bids. They have a location that's paid in full so their overhead is going to be far lower. Any act that operates on a budget (as most do) would be forced to consider playing in a better venue and taking home less in gate receipts or playing in a crappy venue and taking home more.

Without the certainty of being able to fill the barn a minimum number of days, I can easily see why Katz is asking for the compensation.

My guess is he figured RX1 would be out of business by the time RX2 opened. There's been no indication Northlands will be anything less than a huge pain in the butt when it comes to calculating operating revenue. Thus they (Katz Group) have to assume a conservative revenue forecast and ask the city to make up the potential shortfall.

But they knew all that a long time ago. This may be a last ditch attempt to sewer Northlnds' ability to compete - shut RX1 down in effect.

Good take on the dynamic motivators behind these negotiations.RX1 is a threat to Katzs business futures.

Northlands hasnt accepted that they are gone yet,they are just lingering.They should just build it into a casino,sell Northlands to the the River Cree people who run sucessful casinos in Edmonton ,they can retrofit Northlands into a huge Casino and all the seniors can spend their pocket money there until Northlands falls over at just the right time.No matter how we look at it Northlands is old and done as a hockey venue.

The tax dollars we generate in this city are sometimes hard to understand,so how and when does the city generates these dollars during boomtimes and during non-boom times?Based on this what can Edmonton afford now and in the near future?? Are we discussing the tax revenuse generated during a non-boom time when negotiating and is katz then trying to take advantage of the fact that Edmonton gets slammed with many many millions of dollars of extra revenue when the workers come here from all over Canada--and negotiate from that dynamic??I have seen the city on payday when the trades are all rocking and we are booming---how is all that money affecting city coffers??Is more getting to the city through this massive influx of dollars we experience here during boomtime,I dont know?

Is it a stretch to go into that sacred area of boomtime economics and tax revenuse in the Gateway city??

Maybe there is no substantial difference in tax revenues generated when we have an iflux of hundreds of millions of dollars actually "spent"here--but thats hard to believe.I have been on those big projects in the last 20 yrs and witnessed the amount of money spent here first hand,contrary to what some believe not very much money makes its way out of Alberta,a tremendous amount is spent right here,and even if it isnt the employees spending the dollars ,its the contractors paying millions and millions for living allowances that goes to hotels and restauraunts and shopping malls.Never mind bars ,liquor stores,casinos and VLTs.That money must tricle down to the citys tax coffers?

I have been here when there is no boom on and we are teetering on a recession,there is a contrast here that could use a good explanation from someone who knows how this revenue stream works and cycles.As the economy heats up there will be a race to employ the few tradesmen we have left under 50 yrs old,there are bigger dynamics at play here and both the city and Katz are counting on them as they plan negotiations.

The six million a year is 60 million over 10 yrs and 120 million over twenty years,right?Well I wonder how much building costs will rise as we sit around and negotiate??As soon as a few Capital projects start up those costs will skyrocket.And neither the city nor Katz can control that dynamic[as they will tell us later},its a start first scenario based on manpower availability and the incredible dynamic that can triple that expenditure literally in months if concurrent labor projects begin and start to compete for the labor force.The one single biggest variable cost dollarwise in this deal is manpower costs elated directly to availability of tradesmen and tradeswomen .

Katz and the city will let this decision linger till we see this labor dynamic beginning because they dont care we, as taxpayers will all foot the bill one way or another no matter how high costs go.The city is bargaining away our future boomtime tax windfall before we even get it by delaying this negotiation and delaying construction.

Both the City and Katz see the train coming and are sitting here playing chicken with our tax dollars,they are both willing to take this negotiation to the edge of the booms beginning to acess more of our "boomtime"tax dollars up.

There is the potential windfall of boomtime tax dollars they both know is on the horizon and neither party wants to quantify or include in current negotiations"because they are only potential tax dollars"wink wink nudge nudge. I want the deal done now before the boom hits us so we can better use the extra "boomtime"tax dollars we will see manifested on other areas of the Citys growth and maintenance.Give him the extra money today and now,we will recover it from boomtime excesses in tax dollars,wait any longer and we as Edmontonians will be saddled with a much bigger overall debt which both the city and Katz seem willing to burden us with.

Avatar
#39 TheOtherJohn
September 15 2012, 01:23PM
Trash it!
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trashes
+1
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props

Katz Group does not have the the "most skin the game". Never has. They offered $100m towards the building of the new arena. They then switched that to $100m over 30 years. With interest that is $5.6m a year. KG also gets $20m over 10 years from the city to advertise the City of Edmonton. That is another subsidy reducing the $5.6m to 3.6m for the first 10 of the 30 year KG payments towards building the arena.

They now want $6m a year from the COE for maintenance. On a new building!! That would bring his actual "skin in the game" to a negative number.

Now as to the land he purchased in the entertainmement area, he will build an office tower if the COE moves into the building and pays him commercial rates for that privilege. He also wants the City to help him get a Casino license. So that he can make money off that business too.

I have been appalled that city council has, repeatedly, kept saying yes to all of the various "asks". Staples on what seems like the 500th column/post has written in support of the arena is now touting all of the expenses the KG is going to incur. Source of that info, psst, it's the KG! Has anyone tried to figure out what the revenue we are "giving him" will generate? We know Fortune magazine has the Oilers at $96m operating income. 5th best in the NHL. What does an additional 2000 seats coupled with increased ticket prices for everyone (or did you think a ticket price increase for a new building/experience wasn't coming) generate an added revenue from hockey operations? $30m? $35m? $40m?And we have not gotten to revenue from other events. $15-20m in profit . So little additional cost, $45 to $60m in added revenue.

The fact that city councils immediate response, with the movers of the motion turning down the request (Anderson/Krushell) being two of the strongest supporters of the deal, was NFW should tell you just how outrageous the actual ask must have been.

If we are renegotiating a new deal: Sell land for arena back to KG at our cost, write him a cheque for $125m, hell make it $150m and let him build whatever type of "iconic" "world class" building he wants.

Expect when he hears our new "ask" he will proceed with the existing very very lucrative deal for him

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