DARYL KATZ SPEAKS ABOUT ARENA

Jason Gregor
September 18 2012 12:04AM

Daryl Katz finally broke his silence, and while he didn't talk to all the media, instead having an arranged chat with Journal writers, John MacKinnon and David Staples, he did give us an insight into what he thinks about the ongoing arena debate.

It is clear he was annoyed at how he was portrayed by some members of city council and media last week and decided to finally speak. I've said all along that he needed to speak to the public. Not every week, not even every month, but a few times a year so Edmontonians might get a better sense of what his goals and aspirations are for the city.

You can read Staples' article here, and MacKinnon's here.

The title of MacKinnon's piece will fire people up before they even read it, which is unfortunate, because no where that I read or heard does Katz make a threat that the Oilers will leave. I honestly believe if this deal falls through then no one on council or in the Katz Group has an idea what happens next. It is an option I hope we don't have to experience.

Katz does bring up a valid point when discussing new facilities in other cities. Only the MLSE was able to successfully build and manage their own rink. Edmonton doesn't have the population or corporate dollars that Toronto has, so should we really expect our city to function the same way.

Keep in mind that in 1989 Toronto built the Skydome with $570-$650 million (depends who you believe) of mostly taxpayers dollars. So while some in Toronto might want to tell you how great it is that MLSE built their own rink, that wasn't always the case. In 1994, the Skydome was sold for a measly $150 million after paying off all of its debt. Yikes.

The only way the arena will work in Edmonton is with a private/public agreement. Like I wrote last week, both sides need one another to make this work.

I doubt Katz' words will change the opinion of those who oppose the arena, but I never expected him to be a magician. Some will never like the deal, so trying to appease them is likely pointless.

I found this excerpt from the Journal's interview rather interesting.

 

Katz said he chose to speak up about stalled negotiations because, “there’s a lot at stake and people in Edmonton need to understand the full picture.” 

 

The picture became more cloudy last week, when the subsidy issue, in particular, rankled and blindsided members of city council.

In October 2011, the Katz Group agreed to make mortgage payments of $5.5 million a year for 35 years to cover Katz’s $100-million share of the arena’s construction cost.

Katz also agreed to pay roughly $10 million a year in operating and maintenance costs. To many, that $6-million ‘offset’ resembles a clawback of the $100 million he originally promised.

“I’d like to clear the air on this issue of an operating subsidy,” Katz said. “Because what has come out of the city over the last several days, to be frank, is unfair, untrue and totally counterproductive if what we’re trying to do is secure the Oilers future in Edmonton and have us participate in the development of a new arena and sports entertainment district.”

Katz said a “mechanism to offset capital and operating costs of the new arena” had been contemplated from the beginning of the four-and-a-half-year negotiations, and should not have been a surprise to city council.

“We don’t care if it’s a casino and gaming initiative, or something else,” Katz explained. “We need a mechanism to offset operating and maintenance costs, just like Pittsburgh and Winnipeg.

“Casino and gaming is just one way and it happens to be used in other markets all over North America.”

Katz reinforced the need for a public-private collaboration to build a new arena, one Edmonton badly needs, one the city would have to fund entirely itself if he and the Oilers were not prepared to invest in the project.

Without the Oilers, Katz said, the city “would have to pay all the capital and operating costs, just like Quebec City will, just like Kansas City, just like Phoenix, just like Seattle, just like Hamilton, and just like other cities that would all like an NHL or an NBA team to subsidize their arenas.

 

 It sounds like something was lost in translation. Was this offer contemplated and never pursued, or did the city follow up on this only to be turned down?

I'd like an answer to that question, and after speaking with both Mayor Mandel and city Manager Simon Farbrother last week, I will reach out to hear their thoughts on the matter.

The most positive thing in the Katz interview was that he expressed some urgency to get the deal done. It has been four years, and it is crunch time. I hope that both sides can get back to the negotiating table and finalize an agreement. It would be incredibly disappointing if after four years of negotiating this deal fell apart.

Both sides need to recognize that some mutual compromise and leadership is needed. I hope we see some leadership from both parties as we near the end of this long negotiation.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 EHH Team
September 18 2012, 12:30AM
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Thanks for this. I thought that I had heard last year that the casino idea was a no go. I would certainly support this option and I hope the provincial authorities agree. It could be the solution needed to proceed. At least, I hope so.

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#2 Chained Silence
September 18 2012, 01:14AM
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One thing he's right about is that it's taken forever to get this thing done. Too frickin' long. And now we're all paying the price.

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#3 I tried it at home
September 18 2012, 02:20AM
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Hey, its 2 AM, why not say something... I hope to Thor that Mssr's Staples and MacKinnon held Katz's toes to the proverbial flames. I honestly do favour his arguments over that of City Council, but if there was 10 ways to make it look good to the fans, this guy would want to try #12. I get the whole 'reclusive billionaire' thingy, but its time he realised, the Oilers are a sacred trust that he holds, in partnership with the great unwashed hordes, who bought into the whole rebuild and have supported him, one lottrry pick after another. Get over yourself, Darryl, and start actually communicating with Silly Hall. Theres a lot of great hockey coming, and I think I deserve to watch it here.

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#4 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
September 18 2012, 03:08AM
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I believe the Oilers aren't going anywhere anytime soon, regardless of the outcome of the arena deal, so it's kind of annoying to see the subtle fear-mongering like Mackinnon's article title.

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#5 longbottom/P.Biglow
September 18 2012, 04:27AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I believe the Oilers aren't going anywhere anytime soon, regardless of the outcome of the arena deal, so it's kind of annoying to see the subtle fear-mongering like Mackinnon's article title.

While I do agree with you about Mackinnons article,(I favor Mr Staples for how well thought out and balanced it was), Do not kid yourselve about the Oilers moving for one second. I have seen this happen twice when Polkington and then with EIG. To put it in terms someone like me can understand Hockey is a business and if there is a city that offers a better deal the Edmonton how much nudging would it take to see them off to Seattle or Quebec city. I would actually laugh at the irony if they did move to Quebec City. The building is getting built on public money mainly the Transfer payments from Alberta then to have them move to that very city. Hmmmmmm makes one think.

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#6 longbottom/P.Biglow
September 18 2012, 04:38AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I believe the Oilers aren't going anywhere anytime soon, regardless of the outcome of the arena deal, so it's kind of annoying to see the subtle fear-mongering like Mackinnon's article title.

One other thing to consider is look at both Winnipeg and Quebec City, Both has thriving teams when they lost the team to a low dollar. (around what 68cents to the American dollar) Let me see if I get this right since all Salaries are paid in American dollar the teams then were paying 1.32 for every dollar spent. Now 15 years later the cities of Winnipeg and Quebec city are trying to get back in the NHL.(actually Winnipeg did it last year)It isn't for the pride of the team Winnipeg could have stayed with the moose if that was the case. They wanted back in because of the economic spin-off of the team. I have never heard exactly how much of a spin-off it is but it is guesstimated at north of 100 million a year to the city and other businesses. These are things to be considered before complaining that the Oilers are getting public hand-outs.

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#7 Fresh Mess
September 18 2012, 06:54AM
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Not interested in reading anymore of Staples' spin.

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#8 Helmethead
September 18 2012, 07:10AM
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Time and time again, the city councilors past and present have let the citizens of Edmonton down with their incessant and sometimes blatant ignorance of what it takes to be known as a world class city.

The latest news report states that councilors are in the process of developing a beach along the North Saskatchewan river. What the hell for? Although they did admit that the beach could not be used as a landing spot for recreational swimmers due to extremely poor water quality, they'll still pursue the idea because they feel having a beach built within one of North Americas biggest metropolitan park spaces will lure people to the city. In the same report, it was mentioned that the city forked out 60 MILLION dollars for the beach front that lines the "lake" in Hawerlak park. When was the last time these councilors did any research on Geese and other birds who call Edmonton home? What do birds have to do with Hawerlaks Beach? Certain species of birds naturally habitat near open water sources like the one at Hawerlak Park. Having a beach that is littered with feathers, feces and hostile animals is what I call a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.

Then there's the new ring road. These councilors approved plans to build it but didn't they know about the traffic issues along the Stony PLain Road intersection? Of course not. So they continue with the project only to rip it all up to build an overpass. Are you kidding me? How much extra dollars did they have to ask for from The Government of Alberta in order to fix their gaff? How did no one in city hall not get fired for this massive costly blunder? And after only 5 or six years of the road being used it's constantly under construction. Did they not build it right the 1st time? It just flabbergasts me at how much money they throw out away by not being prepared or failing to plan.

The snow removal budget has been amended so many times I've lost track. Every year they approve "x" for snow removal and every year they fall short. Don't they know what having a surplus or contingency fund is in case Mother Nature dumps more snow one year to the next? Do they not understand that SNOW IN EDMONTON IS A FORE-GONE conclusion so the removal budget shouldn't be tampered with each and every year?

SO am I surprised at all of this arena talk over the last 4 and1/2 years?Not in the least. It's a constant back and forth with members of this council who collectively can't decide on anything except on how to spend money in areas of development that aren't necessary. They like to pick fly sh!t out of pepper when it comes to this arena but lack any accountability and vision in other areas. Surely all of these brainacs can come up with something that resembles fiscal responsibility while encouraging city growth. But having said that I'm not so sure anymore based on their "cries" to the public for support to mask their own internal deficiencies.

I hope Katz doesn't get a deal done. I hope the Oilers consider relocation. This city will absolutely crumble when it loses all of the spin off money from having an NHL franchise.

I'd like to see councilors Krushell, Diotte, Anderson, Caterina, Henderson and Sohi sitting in Hawerlak Park asking the geese for money to pay for their 60million dollar toilet bowl.

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#9 Sliderule
September 18 2012, 07:39AM
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Bettman wrote the last cba and now he says it wasn't good enough.

Katz signed off on a deal with the city for the arena.Taking lesson from Bettman he now says the deal he signed is not good enough.

He has learned well from Bettman.

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#10 vetinari
September 18 2012, 07:43AM
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In the new NHL, the Oilers are a 'have' team and sell out every night... they are not going anywhere. I guess that the best way to become a billionaire is to use other people's money wherever possible.

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#11 BigE91
September 18 2012, 07:58AM
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MLSE built the ACC with 160 dates per year guaranteed wit htwo teams using the building. Katz doesn't have that luxury and needs public help

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#12 Spartacus
September 18 2012, 08:08AM
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Ya, and when I hired on to my current position, I contemplated 25% annual raises.

I'd like to implement those now, please.

Daryl Katz makes me miss Peter Pocklington.

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#14 Zamboni Driver
September 18 2012, 08:33AM
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@Helmethead

My my, that was quite a rant.

Tell me this.

You bother to vote in the last civic election?

Cue the "Why should I, these guys are all crooks and losers"- nonsense.

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#15 Zamboni Driver
September 18 2012, 08:35AM
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I would direct blind-faithers to Batman's line in MacKinnon's piece.

Talking about corporate customers.

Apparently the last place-last place-second last place finishes accompanied by sell outs every night are not good enough for Mr. Wayne.

Turns out, he doesn't like the KIND of people that come to the games.

Charming.

Stauffer to the rescue!!

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#16 Harlie
September 18 2012, 08:35AM
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This is gonna get done. No way that Katz and Mandle let this die on the vine this close to it happening. Neither of them want this black hole on their legacy's.

Patience everyone.

Lastly, I spent almost 3 weeks on a trip to Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna in August. I also lived in Vancouver for 2 years about 10 years ago. Edmonton has a long way to go if we are to attract and retain people, talent and tourists.

Our downtown should have massive glass condo's rimming the edge of the River Valley to soak in the views. There should be a promenade and marina at some point in the river. The river is the closest thing we have to "mountains or an ocean" in the prairies so we need to leverage that asset and start investing in it.

Our downtown is still sadly ugly and boring and non-descript. The need for iconic buildings is great. We have a decent start with our City Hall, Art Gallery, proposed Alberta Museum and the proposed Arena but we still need much more.

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#17 Rick
September 18 2012, 08:37AM
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I agree that it's good he spoke out, a state of the union a couple times a year should be standard fair given his position.

On the casino topic, from day one Mandel said that the city would support the Katz group's application for a casino license but because it is under provincial control it was primarily an issue to be dealt with between those two parties.

More clarity needs to be sought out on this.

At first glance it looks like Katz's failings on that item. Surely he isn't expecting the city to secure the license on his behalf? Every other casino in the city secured their own licenses, it only stands to reason that Katz should be in the same boat.

Further, it would be real beneficial if someone from the province could chime in. It doesn't sound like a complicated situation and considering the Flames will probably be seeking a similar funding formula in the not too distant future it does have province wide implications.

Anyways, hopefully this is the start of a good clearing of the air on this deal and negotiations can start to move forward again.

One last note, it seems likesome revisionist history on his part to suggest the EIG was fractured. In the end that was true but Katz created the fracture, he didn't rescure them from it.

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#18 mustang0304
September 18 2012, 08:54AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I believe the Oilers aren't going anywhere anytime soon, regardless of the outcome of the arena deal, so it's kind of annoying to see the subtle fear-mongering like Mackinnon's article title.

by anytime soon you mean in two years. Lease is up in 2 years, if the dollar drops in value which I'm guessing will happen sometime. Lets say the dollar drops to 80 cents, the Oilers will be gone so fast your head will spin, and if I was Katz I would move them as well. I think we all know Winnipeg and Quebec lost their teams not because of lack of fan interest because they didn't have a suitable arena. Katz and Mayor Mandel need to get this done one way or another.

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#19 Peacecountry
September 18 2012, 08:58AM
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@longbottom/P.Biglow

Exactly!!!!! I thought I was the only one who seen it from that perspective

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#20 Cowboy
September 18 2012, 09:08AM
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Mr.Katz has again failed to build the relationship with Edmontonians and more importantly Oiler Fans.

How much money Mr. Katz has spent to date is not what fans want to hear. Threats to take your big toy out of the sand box is not what fans want to hear. Mr. Katz needs to start appealing to fans that he wants to stay in Edmonton and will make what ever effort is needed to make it work.

Mr. Katz, complaining takes zero effort.

Effectively lead your business team/Edmontonians/Oilers Fans and you will achieve the goal.

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#21 Spydyr
September 18 2012, 09:20AM
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Why did Katz pick Staples.Did Staples send up the bat signal?

Or is it because Staples is one of the biggest supporters of the arena deal.

The former I do believe.

I did not take the time to listen to the recorded interview but I'm guessing none of the hard questions were asked.

Propaganda.

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#22 Quicksilver ballet
September 18 2012, 09:53AM
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All this window dressing is getting tiresome. They keep dragging this thing through the mud so it appears as though the City Edmonton, and it's taxpayers, are getting the best deal possible. What a farce.

The Katz contribution is spread over 30 yrs. Now he wants the city to reimburse him by returning 6 million every yr in operating costs. That's considerably more than his annual contribution to this project. 15 yrs into this venture he won't have a nickle of his own money in this thing, yet he'll control 100% of the operating profits. Dunce caps for the taxpayers all around.

For a multi billionaire, he certainly appears to be on his knees without access to taxpayer money. Take your puck, your last place hockey team and go home to Vancouver.

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#23 Jprime
September 18 2012, 10:01AM
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Katz didn't get this rich by making poor financial/business decisions. What he has said in the interview isn't crazy.

The council worry more about their own jobs than the overall long term picture of the city.

Katz has invested a ton towards this city outside of just buying/paying the Oilers. He's committed to helping this city grow and to be profitable from it. Who wouldn't?

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#24 TigerUnderGlass
September 18 2012, 10:57AM
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the Skydome was sold for a measly $150 million after paying off all of its debt.

Could have been worse...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/toronto-developer-acquires-pontiac-silverdome/article1374848/

I might have put in a bid myself if I had known.

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#25 TigerUnderGlass
September 18 2012, 10:59AM
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Jprime wrote:

Katz didn't get this rich by making poor financial/business decisions. What he has said in the interview isn't crazy.

The council worry more about their own jobs than the overall long term picture of the city.

Katz has invested a ton towards this city outside of just buying/paying the Oilers. He's committed to helping this city grow and to be profitable from it. Who wouldn't?

You have it backwards.

Katz is committed to making money for Katz. He'd probably be happy if it helped the city along the way, but that is not his mission here.

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#26 EHH Team
September 18 2012, 11:05AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Why did Katz pick Staples.Did Staples send up the bat signal?

Or is it because Staples is one of the biggest supporters of the arena deal.

The former I do believe.

I did not take the time to listen to the recorded interview but I'm guessing none of the hard questions were asked.

Propaganda.

He also talked to Terry Jones of the Sun

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#27 BSrateofreturn
September 18 2012, 11:13AM
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"The weight of economic evidence, however, shows that taxpayers spend a lot of money and ultimately don't get much back"

http://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/re/articles/?id=468

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#28 book¡e
September 18 2012, 11:50AM
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The argument about the Oilers subsidizing infrastructure is, in some ways, reasonable, however the reality is that there are about 15 teams in the NHL that would love to subsidize the City of Edmonton at a much lower rate than the current owner of the Oilers is suggesting.

Dayrl, you can go look for a cheaper city to play in, but good luck replacing one of the strongest markets in North America. If you do, great - we will happily welcome the Edmonton Coyotes or whomever into the fold.

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#29 mr_nihilism
September 18 2012, 12:53PM
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Whatever happens, I just hope Edmonton's public art policy doesn't somehow get into the mix of the arena deal. I do not want giant stocking feet or shiny balls at Rexall entrance.

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#30 DieHard
September 18 2012, 12:54PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Why did Katz pick Staples.Did Staples send up the bat signal?

Or is it because Staples is one of the biggest supporters of the arena deal.

The former I do believe.

I did not take the time to listen to the recorded interview but I'm guessing none of the hard questions were asked.

Propaganda.

Anti-Prop.

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#31 DieHard
September 18 2012, 12:56PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

All this window dressing is getting tiresome. They keep dragging this thing through the mud so it appears as though the City Edmonton, and it's taxpayers, are getting the best deal possible. What a farce.

The Katz contribution is spread over 30 yrs. Now he wants the city to reimburse him by returning 6 million every yr in operating costs. That's considerably more than his annual contribution to this project. 15 yrs into this venture he won't have a nickle of his own money in this thing, yet he'll control 100% of the operating profits. Dunce caps for the taxpayers all around.

For a multi billionaire, he certainly appears to be on his knees without access to taxpayer money. Take your puck, your last place hockey team and go home to Vancouver.

What will become of Oiler Nation?

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#32 DieHard
September 18 2012, 12:58PM
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book¡e wrote:

The argument about the Oilers subsidizing infrastructure is, in some ways, reasonable, however the reality is that there are about 15 teams in the NHL that would love to subsidize the City of Edmonton at a much lower rate than the current owner of the Oilers is suggesting.

Dayrl, you can go look for a cheaper city to play in, but good luck replacing one of the strongest markets in North America. If you do, great - we will happily welcome the Edmonton Coyotes or whomever into the fold.

And where will the Edmonton Coyotes play?

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#33 LoDog
September 18 2012, 01:09PM
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DieHard wrote:

And where will the Edmonton Coyotes play?

In the brand new %100 taxpayer paid arena in Millwoods of course.

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#34 NewAgeSys
September 18 2012, 01:12PM
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Everyone stand up and clap your hands now!!!

Dont you see the dynamic tactic being offered to everyone??

Katz is really saying,"relax"we have a solution that is beneficial to all groups and is responsible in its content to the recognition of three stakeholders here Katz,the City and the Hockey entiys being the teams fans.

We are being shown how to redirect gambling money from the governments pockets back into capitol work projects that benefit Edmonton as a city,we are learning how to skim cash money off the top of all the loot the other groups are reaping from Casinos. Daryl is showing us how we need to split the loot we get our hands on if the City will help materialise a Casino for him and the Arena,it really a genius tactic.Very similar to what the NHL,Owners,and Players are doing to the fans by using statisticly artificially inflated players salarys used in comparative analysis to determine salary caps and other fiscal dynamics,and passing the buck to the fans in the process.If we listen to Katz we will be indirectly funneling cash from government and other groups into the arena deal,effectively getting non-hockey fans to foot most of the bill---leaving their disgressional fan hockey dollars freed up to make a happy choice to buy tickets that are cheaply subsidised by the gambling upstairs.

In the long run there is some debate to be had concerning societal effect on our communitys because of gambling related issues,and if we go there I am sure we will soon see a world class gambling education and awareness program here coutesy of Katz.So its still a saw off,and a genius way to provide alternative financing for an arena deal---after everyone can justify letting Gamblers pay for the arena somewhere in their minds.

Just sayin.

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#35 SorryToSay
September 18 2012, 01:27PM
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I think people just need to accept that Katz's primary interest is NOT the oilers, NOT the city's and DEFINITELY NOT the fans... Katz is only worried about Katz's bottom line.

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#36 Spydyr
September 18 2012, 01:32PM
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SorryToSay wrote:

I think people just need to accept that Katz's primary interest is NOT the oilers, NOT the city's and DEFINITELY NOT the fans... Katz is only worried about Katz's bottom line.

And that folks is how he became a billionaire.

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#37 nunyour
September 18 2012, 01:54PM
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what's the big problem if they don't build a new arena,it's not like rexall place is crumbling to the ground.it's all about millionairs and billionairs making more money and telling everyone they want to revitalize down town and they are so concerned for the city,as long as someone besides them are paying for it.

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#38 Maggie the Monkey
September 18 2012, 02:12PM
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" In 1994, the Skydome was sold for a measly $150 million after paying off all of its debt. Yikes."

Oh, the deal got better than that. Eight years ago, in 2004, it was sold again for $25M (not including the attached hotel). This means that in 15 years the property decreased in value from a building cost of $580M to a re-sale of $25M, or a depreciation of roughly 95.5%. Take heed with your new sporting facility Edmontonians, take heed.

http://www.tsn.ca/story/print/?id=106352

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#39 TigerUnderGlass
September 18 2012, 02:21PM
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Maggie the Monkey wrote:

" In 1994, the Skydome was sold for a measly $150 million after paying off all of its debt. Yikes."

Oh, the deal got better than that. Eight years ago, in 2004, it was sold again for $25M (not including the attached hotel). This means that in 15 years the property decreased in value from a building cost of $580M to a re-sale of $25M, or a depreciation of roughly 95.5%. Take heed with your new sporting facility Edmontonians, take heed.

http://www.tsn.ca/story/print/?id=106352

See my link on the Silverdome

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#40 Captain Obvious
September 18 2012, 02:46PM
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At this point people who are voicing support of the arena project have moved beyond mistaken to civic irresponsibility.

Stadiums and arenas built by municipalities have proven time and time again to be economic drains on the city. This is a fact that is beyond dispute. Even a good deal for the city that involved actual private money (note there is no private funding in the current model) would provide little to none net benefit. A fully publicly funded arena would be a rather large net negative.

That's just the truth. Deny it if you wish. Rationalize it with psychic benefits if you like. But it's true. There is no economic argument in favour of the arena.

There is no reason for Mandel to offer anything more to Katz. He has already offered a massive compromise. To offer more would be a betrayal of the public trust.

Either the new arena will generate profitable revenues or it won't. If it does, Katz should be paying for those profits with an actual investment. If it doesn't, then the arena shouldn't be built.

Either way there is no argument for a 100% publicly funded arena back up by the city paying the Oilers to occupy it which is what Katz is talking about. Think about this for a second. He wants the city to build him an arena and pay him for the privilege of hosting his hockey team. That's crazy.

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#41 D-Man
September 18 2012, 03:16PM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

At this point people who are voicing support of the arena project have moved beyond mistaken to civic irresponsibility.

Stadiums and arenas built by municipalities have proven time and time again to be economic drains on the city. This is a fact that is beyond dispute. Even a good deal for the city that involved actual private money (note there is no private funding in the current model) would provide little to none net benefit. A fully publicly funded arena would be a rather large net negative.

That's just the truth. Deny it if you wish. Rationalize it with psychic benefits if you like. But it's true. There is no economic argument in favour of the arena.

There is no reason for Mandel to offer anything more to Katz. He has already offered a massive compromise. To offer more would be a betrayal of the public trust.

Either the new arena will generate profitable revenues or it won't. If it does, Katz should be paying for those profits with an actual investment. If it doesn't, then the arena shouldn't be built.

Either way there is no argument for a 100% publicly funded arena back up by the city paying the Oilers to occupy it which is what Katz is talking about. Think about this for a second. He wants the city to build him an arena and pay him for the privilege of hosting his hockey team. That's crazy.

You're certainly being narrow-minded... Kim Krushell went on the record as stating that the arena in the downtown core would potentially pull $2.0 billion in revenue for the city via property taxes over the life of the arena... Being a city councilor, I would assume she's done her due diligence and not fabricated this number. Even should the city foot the entire bill (which I would disagree with in principal) - that would be a spectacular return on the initial $450-$475 million investment.

Now with that in mind - we definitely shouldn't allow Katz to get everything he wants... That's part of the negotiating process... I would definitely not be against for the city to put up $350 million of the initial funds... I don't want Edmonton to become a deadbeat city like Regina...

The Oilers can't play much longer at Rexall. Rexall is 30 years old and city council has stated needs $250 - $300 million in repair overhauls to get it to code?? If not a new arena - where would you suggest they play?? Kansas City?? Seattle?? Quebec??

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#42 Quicksilver ballet
September 18 2012, 03:29PM
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We're missing one vital piece of info here. Lost in all this is the fact that, according to the Mayans, the world will be ending December 23 of this yr.

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh208/brian_sportframe/Mayan-Calendar.jpg

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#43 Captain Obvious
September 18 2012, 03:52PM
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@D-Man

You won't find an economist who supports that $2 billion number. If Kim Krushell says this it is because she has not done her due diligence.

This is all well settled in the literature of sports economics. The general consensus is that there is no net benefit. If there is one it is nowhere near that rate of return.

If the city is going into this with the idea that they are going to get that kind of benefit then they are making a serious mistake. It will never, ever, happen. What's worse is that Kim Krushell thinks this is now a bad deal even though she is operating under such a huge mistake in projections.

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#44 Maggie the Monkey
September 18 2012, 03:53PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

Yeah, that's a pretty crazy discount, too. I connect more with the Dome's building and sales because I remember all of the excitement about it being built (and even visited it as a massive hole in the ground), and have witnessed its sad, slow decay ever since.

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#45 DieHard
September 18 2012, 04:21PM
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@Captain Obvious

I know you're not a hockey fan so why not go to another site and spew stuff there. Did you not read and comprehend the linked articles?

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#46 D-Man
September 18 2012, 04:34PM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

You won't find an economist who supports that $2 billion number. If Kim Krushell says this it is because she has not done her due diligence.

This is all well settled in the literature of sports economics. The general consensus is that there is no net benefit. If there is one it is nowhere near that rate of return.

If the city is going into this with the idea that they are going to get that kind of benefit then they are making a serious mistake. It will never, ever, happen. What's worse is that Kim Krushell thinks this is now a bad deal even though she is operating under such a huge mistake in projections.

And I'm assuming the literature of sports economics supports the fact of supporting an aging building?? A hockey team leaving town?? I'm definitely not fear-mongering but the longer this arena takes the more feasible the idea of the Oilers leaving town becomes...

What you're failing to understand is that this isn't an issue of sports economics - this is an issue of municipal economics and the overall viability of Edmonton as a city. The fact is the Oilers are a big ticket item that places our city on the map... The revenue the team brings in at the bars and the restaurants during games (whether home or away) cannot be denied... Vitalizing the downtown core will improve the business environment and the commerce in Edmonton. Winnipeg has already seen success with corporate support of its team and their arena is downtown... The City of Edmonton sees the benefit financially as property values increase along with the taxes it collects... Latest projections that I heard on the Gregor show reveal that this revenue is anywhere from $1.4 billion to $3.0 billion... Are the economists employed by the City of Edmonton wrong??

City council is responsible for improving the outlook of our city... They use tax dollars to build roads you and I may never use, art galleries that we may never enter and parks we may never walk in... A downtown arena only improves the city in ways you apparently can't possibly imagine... Of course, this doesn't mean Katz should get everything for free - but the thought of an arena will only improve Edmonton as a city.

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#47 Deep Oil
September 18 2012, 06:03PM
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Oilers are unmoveable, look at PHX, CBJ, FLA

If DK sells his Rexall corp to Shoppers or CVS, and has little left over to show for it, how comfortable are taxpayers dealing with an owner that has asked the city of Edmonton to loan him 100 million dollars with interest.

There is a $100million loan on the team.

Chris Hansen just dropped $290million on the seattle arena, with $200 million in repayable loans via the profit from the arena, Hansen was audited, the city of Edmonton has not announced an audit confirmation of Katz or Rexall Sports.

Edmonton does not need Katz, they could build the arena on their own, have northlands run it, and charge the Oilers fair market rent.

Any David Staples or Oiler radio hosts that wish to disagree, since the Oilers without making the playoffs are top 6th in revenue.

The next time you go to your Rexall Store, it might be a CVS store or a Shoppers if the competition bureau allows it.

Arena deal is bad, WAM has the casino license held back on the option sale via the Baccarat Group, as mentioned many times before. This will come down to casino money and the emotions of Edmontonians.

Edmonton needs a new arena, let's build it without giving Katz $100 million loan, and a $2million year advertising gift. Let Northlands run it pay off the building over time. Northlands is incompetent, but I would rather have incompetency than millions of dollars given to a private sports billionaire (alleged).

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#48 Fresh Mess
September 18 2012, 07:08PM
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Captain Obvious, Deep Oil, Thank you. A refreshing bit of common sense.

I'm sure you will be scolded any minute now for not being a "real" hockey fan, or not understanding public economic investment.

Prepare yourself for the inevitable mind blowingly stupid reference to the RAM or art gallery as a comparable.

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#49 Cheap Shot Charlie
September 18 2012, 08:26PM
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I guess my question is: If the city caved and had to foot the rest of the bill who would it hurt? I have a hard time believing that it would make much of a dent in our taxes (but of course it would be blamed for any increase.) I wonder if the city could put a cap on the amount of money Katz could make on the arena. (eg. If the cap was $10M and $12M in revenue was generated, the city would get the extra $2M or it would be put in escrow)

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#50 Dave
September 18 2012, 11:42PM
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nunyour wrote:

what's the big problem if they don't build a new arena,it's not like rexall place is crumbling to the ground.it's all about millionairs and billionairs making more money and telling everyone they want to revitalize down town and they are so concerned for the city,as long as someone besides them are paying for it.

Rexall Place is crumbling to the ground. Probably the worst public arena in Canada for a MAJOR city.

We do need a new arena. In retrospect, there would have been more public support for the city to own and operate the arena. Regardless, as the city owns Rexall Place they should bulldoze it right after the new arena is built.

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