SAVILLE: ANOTHER KATZ MOUTHPIECE?

Robin Brownlee
September 22 2012 12:33AM

The stance by some citizens in this city seems to be that any member of the media who supports putting more money on the table to help build an arena in partnership with Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz should be dismissed as a mouthpiece or a fartcatcher.

Others sit smugly and suggest that if Katz and the Oilers want a new arena, they can damn well pick up the tab because, after all, there's no way Katz is going to pull up stakes and move the team to another city that offers a sweeter deal. Even the faintest suggestion that could happen is characterized as fear mongering and bluffing by Katz.

It follows, then, that anybody in the local media who doesn't discount the possibility that shelving or delaying the downtown arena project might result in the Oilers leaving town for a destination that is building a rink or already has one is, again, a fartcatcher or a mouthpiece.

Bob Stauffer of 630 CHED gets tarred with that brush often, of course, as he's an employee of the Oilers and, it follows, is bought and paid for by Katz and Rexall Sports. People say Stauffer's a Yes Man. A shill. The opinion of people who feel that way has been strengthened in recent days as Stauffer has tip-toed around the possibility of Edmonton losing the team if the arena isn't built. "There goes Bob again, doing the bidding for Katz . . ."

SAVILLE WADES IN

I don't know if you heard Stauffer's interview with former EIG member Bruce Saville on Oilers Now today, but if you haven't, you can follow this link to the podcast. Give it a listen. It might just send shivers down your spine. At the very least, it should provide those who scoff at the possibility the Oilers will ever leave town pause for thought.

Saville, last time I checked, isn't a member of the segment of the media deemed by some to be pitchmen for Katz. Saville, near as I can tell, isn't a Katz Yes man, a mouthpiece, a fartcatcher. Katz isn't his boss. Katz doesn't sign Saville's cheques. Here's some excerpts – listen to the entire interview for context – of Saville's interview with Stauffer.

STAUFFER: ". . . I think it's naïve to believe there aren't other options for Mr. Katz and the Katz group carrying forward. What happens, do you think, if a building doesn't get built in this city?"

SAVILLE: "If this arena doesn’t get built, the team's gone. I don't know how long it'll take – two years when the lease is over, maybe another year or two beyond that, but I would bet my life that, five years from now, if there's not a new arena or a hole in the ground or one almost finished, that the team will be gone and there won't be any team coming along behind it to replace it . . ."

SAVILLE: "Let's get it signed and get on with it. This isn’t a get rich scheme for Daryl Katz. People who think that are just jealous. They don't understand the deal. It's unfortunate that Daryl is a bit of an introvert, you know? He doesn't like to appear in public. He doesn’t like to speak in public. But that's his personality. We all have personality traits.

"That's the fact. Isn't that better than Peter Pocklington mouthing off and you can't believe a word he says, you know? Peter Pocklington never saw a microphone he didn't like. Thank God he's out of here. (Katz) is a solid, solid, solid guy who, for some reason, has not really had the support of the business community, the downtown, big company business community. They're not stepping up . . ."

Fartcatcher? Mouthpiece? I think not.

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.
Avatar
#1 justwondering
September 22 2012, 09:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

I have come to the conclusion after reading blogs about this whole arena thing the past 41/2 years that there are a lot of people in Edmonton that are border line retarded. I don't think they would be happy if Katz wrote them a cheque. They have no idea of the benefits of a professional hockey team in the city, all they care about is that not 1 cent of their tax money goes towards building this. Yet they don't seem to mind that there tax dollars build libraries, museums, fund the arts, build roads and bridges, the government subsidizes Oil companies to the tune of billions of dollars, and pays for Healthcare, and education. Now how many of those things that are funded are really necessary or up front? You don't think someone is making a pile of cash in those venues? So when Katz takes his Oilers and his 30 or more millionaires and leaves town, you can bitch about how big of a crap hole Edmonton has become, and trust me everyone living outside of the city won't have a problem reminding you of it either.

Avatar
#2 longbottom/P.Biglow
September 22 2012, 01:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
heavyoilcountry wrote:

Didn't Saville get a pay-out from Daryl to the tune of about 20million?? If I invested $7million into a team & you gave me $20million for it later on, I'd be happy to "tow the line" for you too, whatever that may be

WOW, Now buying something in this town and selling it now is against all rules of good form? Lets see now I may be wrong or just a homer or just OLD( I did just hit the half century mark this year) Saville was part of a group that spent 80m to buy the Oilers from Polkington then turned around and sold it several years later after putting how much money extra that I do not know.(there was at least 4 to five cash calls between this time) Now my friend you suggest he is towing the line for Katz??????

Lets just turn this puppy around and say anyone with the opinion of ant line of thinking against Saville and Stauffer is very very Niave.(To put it bluntly) It took Winnipeg 15 years to get the NHL back, Quebec still hasn't gotten their team back.(I heard a rumor two years ago the Katz could get a sweetheart deal from Either Hamilton or Quebec). Now lets see the line for getting an NHL team is getting a little longer with Seattle looking for one, Kansas City is still trying to get one, has the rumor of Houston ever gone away? This is the same line of thinking that almost ruined Edmonton with Mayor Jann Riemer and the Big Bussiness that all formed a line and belined to Calgary.(How many companies set up their head offices down the road 2 1/2 hours?)

Avatar
#3 RossCreekNation
September 22 2012, 08:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
heavyoilcountry wrote:

Didn't Saville get a pay-out from Daryl to the tune of about 20million?? If I invested $7million into a team & you gave me $20million for it later on, I'd be happy to "tow the line" for you too, whatever that may be

So if you bought a house for 300k & then 10 yrs later were able to sell that house for 380k, you would take the buyers side on whatever issue b/c you made $ off that person, right?

You make it sound like Katz gave Saville $20M just to ho along with his scheme. It's business. The other investors all made $ on the deal... does that mean we should expect them all to "tow the line"?

Avatar
#4 Bushed
September 22 2012, 09:47AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

A number of people have said or written that the critics don't understand the deal.

Then the arguments seem to shift to whether or not we believe Saville or Nicholls or Messier or Stauffer or Brownlee or Katz (or whoever supports the deal) is a person of character or a "stand-up guy" who can be trusted. That really isn't the point, and it's unfair to slag someone just for having a different opinion.

But it also does not help matters when the Katz group refuses to make the details of the deal public information. I understand that he would prefer not to bargain in public and have to react to every proposal made or changed along the process, but with significant public funding involved, playing the "trust me, I want what's best for Edmonton" card alone isn't enough.

Apart from the missing $100M, the other key problem right now is the operating money. If I pay you $5M a year in a deal that gives me back $6M a year, how can I seriously say I'm contributing anything to the deal? I know in Katz's mind there are lots of other costs and revenues and risks, and that in his mind the two numbers are not directly related, but he needs to back away far enough to appreciate an outsider's view OR explain it clearly enough that we CAN understand it. If he needs more time to do that, then fine, I can wait awhile, but at some point we need a clear rationale.

I don't want to see the team leave, but if the arena and team aren't viable for both the city and Katz, I'll have to (reluctantly) accept it.

Avatar
#5 TeddyTurnbuckle
September 22 2012, 09:58AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

The arena is old. Even if there was no hockey team in Edmonton the city would still need a new entertainment complex for concerts and such which they would have to build on their own. The oilers are offering to split the costs. End of story. Take the deal or hold concerts in a high school gym in 10 years.

Avatar
#6 The Soup Fascist
September 22 2012, 10:02AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Oilers_fan wrote:

Can we just get this done, people are acting like building a new arena is bad for the city, how about not having a hockey team, isn't that bad for the city?

Truer words were never spoken.

The city as a whole -all of us- look like a bunch of rubes with this endless soap opera. Sit down and hammer out an agreement suitable to the city and the owner of the Oilers, already. It's not like there are 29 other funding agreement templates between NHL teams and municipalities to choose from. FRAC! Pick one!

The facts are 1) A major professional sports team is good for a city. 2) This particular pro team needs a new venue. PERIOD. Rexall is a 40 year old dump. 3) A downtown arena will accelerate or initiate development in that area. 4) Taxpayers don't want to get screwed - fair enough.

Why are all city projects not under this public scrutiny? I am way more outraged when I am stuck in traffic watching large parts of the Anthony Henday, that is less than two years old, being torn up and redone, than I am over whether there is tile or stone in the sh!tters of the new building. I wish I had spent more time bitching on "Edmonton Art Gallery Nation" asking about the overages on that white elephant, that I have yet to visit.

I am just so tired of the victim mentality and this whole outcry that if Katz makes a dime on this its terrible. Why? When does Katz get cheques from the city when the word "Edmonton" is flashed across the bottom of ESPN, TSN, FoxSports, MSG and countless other sports networks world-wide 82 (or fewer this year) nights a year?

I laugh at the suggestion made above, that billionaires are all these wonderful public speakers and PR mensches. Steven Jobs (RIP) was a world class knob, try reading about Oracle founder Larry Ellison, I recall very few stirring presentations from Howard Hughes. Look no further than NHL kook Charles Wang and his arena hijinx this summer. Who cares if Katz didn't make it to Toastmasters Wednesday nights?

Bottom line is there is a deal to be made. City council / Katz group - shut up and make it. As every day passes we look more and more like Bug Tussle.

Avatar
#7 @NateInVegas
September 22 2012, 12:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

It's easy to make a 35-year commitment when you put down $5.8M/year and get a $6M subsidy. It's like giving a girl a promise ring instead of having the money for an engagement ring. Katz would be equally committed to Edmonton by putting $100M into the arena as was originally promised.

Katz can't seriously be afraid of competing with Northlands. Look at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, or McNichols arena in Denver. Once a new venue goes up, the old one becomes obsolete.

It`s time for a new arena. If you`ve attended games in the spring, you`d know the roof leaks all over the 200`s. Edmonton won't get a better opportunity than Katz, but the PR stinks.

Avatar
#8 Wanyes bastard child
September 22 2012, 03:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

I like hockey.

Avatar
#9 heavyoilcountry
September 22 2012, 12:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Didn't Saville get a pay-out from Daryl to the tune of about 20million?? If I invested $7million into a team & you gave me $20million for it later on, I'd be happy to "tow the line" for you too, whatever that may be

Avatar
#10 gongshow
September 22 2012, 07:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@ wiseguy

I don't know Katz, but I do have several friends and acquaintances who have ties to Saville and Nichols and I have never heard anything but positives about their character. Look at what these guys have done for our city so far and how they have put their money where their mouth is time and time again.

To paint them as as greedy is plain silly. I was good friends with one of the EIG and believe me that at the time the $80 million purchase price was not a low risk investment for these individuals. There was every possibility (back when the canadian dollar was near 60 cents) that the Oilers could have turned into the Coyotes - a perennial money pit.

Bruce Saville is as plugged in as anyone in this town and I think that he has earned the right to have his word taken at face value, so when he talks - we all would be wise to listen.

Stauffer on the other hand, whether he's right or wrong, is starting to sound like a carnival barker...

Avatar
#11 blue31
September 22 2012, 08:37AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Sadly, too many Edmontonians would rather lose the team than see Darryl Katz make money that "he doesn't deserve."

The spinoffs from a new arena would be enormous to Edmonton. Oilers leave town = 100s of lost jobs. New arena gets built = 1000s of new jobs. If the Oilers pack up & leave, we will never get a new arena in any form without an anchor tenant. And if we do, it will be 100% straight out of taxpayers wallets.

This is a reason why players don't want to come to Edmonton to enjoy our small-town mentality. This jealousy and hatred towards wealth and success absolutely astounds me.

Avatar
#12 Kent Wilson
September 22 2012, 09:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

I was one of those folks suggesting that it's highly...convenient Oilers Now hosted a guest who hints the team could be moved without a new arena (read: without a favorable public subsidy).

Personally, my point wasn't that Saville is a shill or that he was bought and paid for. Im guessing that truly is the opinion of some folks out there, including him.

What's suggestive is both the timing of his appearance (in the wake of the recent Katz public plea) and the fact that this was the particular guest who was chosen to speak on the matter. Particularly because you could throw a football in any economics department and hit 3 people who could tell you in graphic detail what a bad idea public funding for sports stadiums is.

Let me put it another way - I doubt Saville shows up on Oilers Now if his stance was "Edmonton is one of the strongest markets in the league and relocation seems highly unlikely. In addition, repeated studies have shown that public financing of private stadiums heightens taxpayer risk and has little long-term effect on civic economics."

All that said, I could be wrong. I don't live in Edmonton and don't listen to Stauffer's show, so there could be balance there I've missed.

Avatar
#13 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 22 2012, 10:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Can't help but think Katz is part of the problem, trying to grind out every taxpayer dollar to be had. He could easily sell a minority interest in Rexall sports and entertainment. Have to believe fellows like Bruce Saville and Cal Nichols etc, would like to be part of this new facility legacy as well. Daryl maybe needs to swallow some pride and seek some inner circle help on this if he's that short on funds.

From Kats' actions, needlessly stretching out these proceedings, it looks as though the label of the House that Daryl built, is more important than just getting this thing built. Swallowing a little pride, 6 phone calls, and the shovels would have hit the ground a year ago. Katz could expedite this process by seeking the assistance from the pillars of that EIG, they wrote the book on doing what's best for Edmonton and less so for themselves.

Avatar
#14 Karth
September 22 2012, 11:01AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Reading some of these comments- I am more and more glad I left Edmonton. It was extremely hard to do at first but if you have money you should move to Calgary.

Avatar
#15 RossCreekNation
September 22 2012, 11:05AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Ylu know what else I find to be a "coincidence"? When movie stars show up on talk shows like Leno/Letterman/etc as soom as they have a new movie to promote. HOW CONVENIENT!!! derp

Avatar
#16 Boourns99
September 22 2012, 12:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

This needs to happen. Now.

Avatar
#17 Jasmine
September 22 2012, 01:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

The team has been criticized since Katz became owner. People expected the first thing Katz would do is fire Lowe since fans hate Lowe. Since Katz didn't fire Lowe, people hate Katz. People wanted Lowe gone and because Katz didn't do, he's hated.

Avatar
#18 Jasmine
September 22 2012, 01:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Don't forget that idiot Caterina is still on city council as well as on Northlands BOG. That my friend is conflict of interest. All Caterina does is complain complain complain and never has anything to say. Same with Diotte. People on the Northlands BOG shouldn't be on city council as they're biased towards Northlands.

Avatar
#20 Oilers_fan
September 22 2012, 09:04AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Can we just get this done, people are acting like building a new arena is bad for the city, how about not having a hockey team, isn't that bad for the city?

Avatar
#21 TeddyTurnbuckle
September 22 2012, 10:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Its getting to the point that Oiler fans should start making non refundable donations. I don't even live in Edmonton but I'd chip in 100 bucks. I bet there are 10,000 oiler fans out there willing to do the same.

Avatar
#22 The Soup Fascist
September 22 2012, 10:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Spartacus wrote:

If I don't like the manner in which Katz has negotiated this arena deal, I must be jealous?

And if I'm against the war in Iraq, I must not be a patriot? I've seen this act before, I think they call it Dixie Chick-ing.

Stop talking to me like I'm an idiot and show me how this deal is fair to the City of Edmonton.

You don't even have to show that it's a good deal. Just show that it's somehow fair, that the person who will profit from this venture also invests in it and assumes some of the risk.

Katz claims that he's losing money running the Oilers. Meanwhile, Oilers fans have supported this P.O.S. team religiously, selling out every game since he's owned the club. Somehow, he can't make money. If that's true, it should be pretty easy to show your losses - not to the public, but to the City with which you're negotiating - yet he chooses not to prove this easily vefifiable claim while begging for more public money to finance an arena for his team to play in. The reason for that? He's a liar. Just ask Forbes.

I have to think that even a chimp could turn a profit with an NHL team in this city. Here's a suggestion for you Mr. Katz; do a better job of running your business.

... Ahhh but where would that chimp have gotten the original $218 million to buy the team - that is the question.

The best part of your whole diatribe is giving business suggestions to Katz. How about some hockey tips for one Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, if you have the time?

Thanks for the laugh. You went from merely ridiculous to sublime in a couple of paragraphs. Well done.

Avatar
#23 reb98
September 22 2012, 10:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
The Soup Fascist wrote:

Truer words were never spoken.

The city as a whole -all of us- look like a bunch of rubes with this endless soap opera. Sit down and hammer out an agreement suitable to the city and the owner of the Oilers, already. It's not like there are 29 other funding agreement templates between NHL teams and municipalities to choose from. FRAC! Pick one!

The facts are 1) A major professional sports team is good for a city. 2) This particular pro team needs a new venue. PERIOD. Rexall is a 40 year old dump. 3) A downtown arena will accelerate or initiate development in that area. 4) Taxpayers don't want to get screwed - fair enough.

Why are all city projects not under this public scrutiny? I am way more outraged when I am stuck in traffic watching large parts of the Anthony Henday, that is less than two years old, being torn up and redone, than I am over whether there is tile or stone in the sh!tters of the new building. I wish I had spent more time bitching on "Edmonton Art Gallery Nation" asking about the overages on that white elephant, that I have yet to visit.

I am just so tired of the victim mentality and this whole outcry that if Katz makes a dime on this its terrible. Why? When does Katz get cheques from the city when the word "Edmonton" is flashed across the bottom of ESPN, TSN, FoxSports, MSG and countless other sports networks world-wide 82 (or fewer this year) nights a year?

I laugh at the suggestion made above, that billionaires are all these wonderful public speakers and PR mensches. Steven Jobs (RIP) was a world class knob, try reading about Oracle founder Larry Ellison, I recall very few stirring presentations from Howard Hughes. Look no further than NHL kook Charles Wang and his arena hijinx this summer. Who cares if Katz didn't make it to Toastmasters Wednesday nights?

Bottom line is there is a deal to be made. City council / Katz group - shut up and make it. As every day passes we look more and more like Bug Tussle.

Well said!

Avatar
#24 Dave Lumley
September 22 2012, 11:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Couple of things; Instead of jumping all over Stauffer and Ssville, they are just stating a fact. If the deal does not get done, the team will be moving. He is just giving voice to it. We have come close to losing the team before and the next time it happens it will all be hingeing on having a arena to play in. The EIG sold because they could not take the project on. Even if Katz is forced to sell to some other rich guy, they still need somewhere to play and a new arena will still have to be built. Doing it now is already generating investment, construction and new tax revenue around the site.

I firmly believe that if Calgary was needing to rebuild the Saddledome first, the Provincial Government would be finding a way to make it happen. No leadership assistance coming for Redmonton. At least the Wildrose offered a lottery funding proposal.

Speaking of secrecy; check out the City of Edmonton website and try and find out what projects like the upgrades on the Capilano Library or the new fascade on the downtown library will cost. Not a whisper of how much they will spend.

And finally, didn't anyone actually listen to Katz. They had a proposed deal were the city was to pursue and locate operational funds. The city failed and flipped it back on to Katz.

A city runs on growth and you need to attact investment for that to happen. Are the Oilers an assest? You better believe it, but more so, the negative publicity for losing the team will be worth billions. You can almost hear the cackling coming from down south.

Avatar
#25 The Soup Fascist
September 22 2012, 11:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
S_DUB wrote:

The Soup Fascist, I don't think the word "fact" means what you think it means.

"2. This particular pro team needs a new venue. PERIOD. Rexall is a 40 year old dump."

Why? When anyone asks why Rexall is insufficient, its a vague response that "its not up to current NHL standards". It's not shiny enough? Not enough restaurants? I'll admit that its small, and sight-lines are not the best, but it still works! The same thing could be said about Fenway Park, the most storied venue in baseball!

"3. A downtown arena will accelerate or initiate development in that area."

Studies have consistently shown this to be untrue. I don't necessarily believe it won't work here, but that's not a fact.

@ S_DUB

1) TUG phoned and he wants his "... Doesn't mean what you think it means" thing back. Write your own stuff.

No matter.

2) If you think Rexall is the hockey equivalent of Fenway, we are on two different planets, friend.

I have been fortunate enough to be in seven NHL buildings other than Rexall. " Woefully inadequete" is where I would start.

Avatar
#26 Dave Lumley
September 22 2012, 12:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Northlands is city subsidized. Lets ban the Billionaire Paul McCartney from playing there and making a buck on the backs of the poor tax paying stiffs. Poor saps, having to buy overpriced tickets laden with working mans sweat!

Maybe we can lynch him from the Gretzky statue.

Avatar
#27 Gret99zky
September 22 2012, 12:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

To be honest I am surprised Edmonton even paves its streets. I mean what a waste of money. Paving causes potholes.

Avatar
#28 Gerald R. Ford
September 22 2012, 02:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I'm halfway between: "The arena is the cure-all for everything wrong for Edmonton" and "I don't need an NHL hockey team where I live to validate my self-worth. Let them go, who cares?" I think both positions are silly.

I love Edmonton. I've lived here most of my life now, and every time I go away for work, or just to travel, I'm always happy to get home. It's a nice, relatively friendly, cozy sort of place for the average joe (of which I am one). But... our downtown sucks a Flinstones-era bowling ball through eighty feet of garden hose. It's thoroughly embarrassing, bordering on indecent. After spending the better part of a month visiting my family in Montréal, partying Big Wanye Style, I can tell you, if anyone thinks downtown Edmonton is "vibrant", they do not have a proper baseline for comparison.

Are there some nice places to live downtown? Sure. Good places to eat? If you squint hard and long enough. Any semblance of a coordinated, sustainable effort to attract large numbers of patrons to have a good time, or businesses to set up shop? Next to none.

Look, I don't buy that CRL hocus-pocus used car salesman pitch that Mandel and Katz are spewing about the "goldmine" of riches that the arena will generate for the city. It's NOT a creation of wealth, it's a transference of wealth. It's a redistribution of existing wealth. A purposeful concentration for a better good. I'm fine with that, and I wish they would state it as such, without the numerical slight of hand act. I think it ultimately hurts the cause, and the cause IS just. We need that arena, and we need it downtown. The arena... is a good START for necessary change. This TOWN has stood still for far, far too long. As Stauffer says, we can keep being a big town, or we can grow up and be something better. Get the deal done, get it done TODAY. And, yes, it's going to be somewhat unfair in favour of Mr. Katz. C'est la vie.

Avatar
#29 huh?
September 22 2012, 02:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Kaiser Wilhelm wrote:

1). Edmonton needs a new arena. Any rink we build is going to cost around $400 mil, minimum.

2). Darryl Katz is offering to put in roughly $200m of his own cash into building an arena.

3). There are at least three, possibly four, larger, richer, and more populous markets currently interested in obtaining an NHL team. A young, talent-heavy, entertaining team is a far better target than an expansion team.

I realize this is an overly simplistic summation of the issue, but let's ditch the pissing contest about who's right and who's wrong. We can get a new rink considerably cheaper with Mr. Katz's help than we can without him. As an eight-year-old kid, I cried when I heard the Oilers might move in the late 90s, and I don't ever want to have to listen to stories about that again.

Just DO it, darn it.

Where are people getting this false impression that Katz is putting any of his own money into this??? Katz is putting EXACTLY $0 OF HIS OWN MONEY into this project. His $100M contribution is borrowed from the city which he will pay back at $5.5M/year for 35 years. And he is now asking for an additional $6M/year subsidy from the city to cover "operations". So not only is Katz not putting any money in, he is having the city pay back their own loan. On top of that, Katz will keep all profits from the Arena, and will also gain profits from land developments surrounding the arena.

Avatar
#30 Morgie99
September 22 2012, 02:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Gerald R. Ford wrote:

I'm halfway between: "The arena is the cure-all for everything wrong for Edmonton" and "I don't need an NHL hockey team where I live to validate my self-worth. Let them go, who cares?" I think both positions are silly.

I love Edmonton. I've lived here most of my life now, and every time I go away for work, or just to travel, I'm always happy to get home. It's a nice, relatively friendly, cozy sort of place for the average joe (of which I am one). But... our downtown sucks a Flinstones-era bowling ball through eighty feet of garden hose. It's thoroughly embarrassing, bordering on indecent. After spending the better part of a month visiting my family in Montréal, partying Big Wanye Style, I can tell you, if anyone thinks downtown Edmonton is "vibrant", they do not have a proper baseline for comparison.

Are there some nice places to live downtown? Sure. Good places to eat? If you squint hard and long enough. Any semblance of a coordinated, sustainable effort to attract large numbers of patrons to have a good time, or businesses to set up shop? Next to none.

Look, I don't buy that CRL hocus-pocus used car salesman pitch that Mandel and Katz are spewing about the "goldmine" of riches that the arena will generate for the city. It's NOT a creation of wealth, it's a transference of wealth. It's a redistribution of existing wealth. A purposeful concentration for a better good. I'm fine with that, and I wish they would state it as such, without the numerical slight of hand act. I think it ultimately hurts the cause, and the cause IS just. We need that arena, and we need it downtown. The arena... is a good START for necessary change. This TOWN has stood still for far, far too long. As Stauffer says, we can keep being a big town, or we can grow up and be something better. Get the deal done, get it done TODAY. And, yes, it's going to be somewhat unfair in favour of Mr. Katz. C'est la vie.

Are there some nice places to live downtown? Sure. Good places to eat? If you squint hard and long enough. Any semblance of a coordinated, sustainable effort to attract large numbers of patrons to have a good time, or businesses to set up shop? Next to none. - Gerald Ford

I agree with most of your points but not the one directly above

What do you consider downtown? Is Jasper Ave downtown?

What about Oliver Square?

Nothing to attract a number of patrons?

Same with restaurants?

I beg to differ, there are numerous restaurants and clubs already, and more in the works already

Do we have resort to Hyperbole to make our points?

other than that I agree, but still have trouble stomaching this subsidy getting better by the minute i'm sure

Avatar
#31 heavyoilcountry
September 22 2012, 11:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Katz can take all the private jet trips he wants between Seattle, Quebec, Kansas & whatever other city that's dying for a NHL franchise, but it's just a publicity stunt to get negotiations moving, aka: leverage

Main point: There's no way in hell that the NHL board of governors will approve of the largest revenue ticket per capita in the entire league moving ANYWHERE but, across town.

Book it!!

Avatar
#32 David S
September 23 2012, 12:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Interestingly though, it won't be downtown.

Because Calgary already has one. And they continue to build the snot out of it. Funny how a pro business environment and a willingness to spend some money somewhere besides the burbs seems to get things done.

Avatar
#33 KHR
September 23 2012, 01:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Let me start by saying that I'm not going to read over 100 posts so I don't know if anything that I add will be a rehashing of old statements or not.

First the ticket tax is not a contribution by Katz or the Oilers to the building of the arena. It does act as a brake on Katz's ability to raise ticket prices to fund his own operations and I believe he tries to use this fact as a justification that he is making a contribution to the project in that amount. I don't buy that argument unless he is willing to say that he will pay the $125M (or whatever the amount is supposed to be) out of his revenue and that anything over that amount he can keep in exchange for dropping the ticket tax idea (pretty sure he came out against the idea of ticket tax in the past).

My biggest problem with how Katz/Oilers are trying to spin the whole arena deal. Katz is trying to secure the best possible leasing conditions he can and good for him. Now it is true that in some big buildings an anchor tenant can secure space for lease and get the landlord to push the op costs out onto other tenants. Happens in places like WEM all the time. Sears or the Bay don't pay nearly as much per sq ft as the little shoe store does because they rent more space and the cost of having that big anchor tenant is pushing the operating costs onto the landlord which then passes them on to the other smaller tenants who don't have the same leverage. Only problem here is that there is only one tenant of the arena so who are you supposed to push the costs on to? Katz seems to be wanting to look upon the deal as saying the "Arena District" is akin to the mall and that we should push the costs out to that group through the added tax $$ money coming in $1.2 to $2B depending on who you listen to.

Problem here is that the "District" is really too small to do that too. 3 freaking blocks is hardly a district. If you want to make a truly iconic change to downtown you are going to need to do an area about 5 times the size currently contemplated. Additionally, the City is going to basically be financing this whole deal with Katz making payments towards the project totaling $192M (I am assuming that others have done the math here correctly it is Sunday and I'm too damn lazy to do it myself). As I'm sure he is not willing putting in more than $100M plus interest that means that $92M of that is interest over 35 years which means that the City's potential interest is likely over $300M as their initial contribution is $350M+. So the City is on the hook for $650M plus a whole host of costs in infrastructure and other things that will creep in. So using the conservative estimates the City can expect say $600M of tax profit over the course of the project or about $17M a year, of which it seems Katz now wants a third of to cover his costs.

My issue then becomes if he expects the City as Landlord to eat the op costs and push them out to other businesses in the district can we justify that based on what he willing to paying in leasing charges . . . So just how much is Katz paying to lease the arena for the year and run as he sees fit and to keep the profits from? I would suggest to you that in nice new sparkly building like that in a brand new wonderful district that a minimum of $35/sq ft would be very reasonable but I'm willing to give him a break on the deal and half it to $18/sq ft. He isn't paying that, and in fact this whole deal seems to be predicated on the fact that he will pay no rent but rather just cover a portion of the operating and maintenance costs of the building of which now he wants the City to reimburse him some of those costs too.

At the end of the day I believe this ask is entirely related to the fact that Northlands wants to keep running Rexall Place. Katz wants to be the only game in town so he can maximize his profits at little to no risk. I think if the City could find a way to make Northlands get rid of Rexall this might go away.

In the spirit of disclosure, I am a season ticket holder so I have definite stake in this with my pocket book. I have huge concerns about what might happen to ticket prices if and when a new arena is built. My uncle worked for the Oilers for 35 years through all of the glory years starting right back in the WHA days and was good friends with Dr. Allard and Zane Feldman the original owners of the team. The players even honored him in 2000 when he passed away by wearing BB on their helmets. I don't want this team to leave probably more than most on this board, however, I think that the City is doing a lot for Katz and he needs to start accepting the risks associated with operating an arena.

Avatar
#34 KHR
September 23 2012, 03:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
DSF wrote:

1) " First the ticket tax is not a contribution by Katz or the Oilers to the building of the arena. It does act as a brake on Katz's ability to raise ticket prices to fund his own operations and I believe he tries to use this fact as a justification that he is making a contribution to the project in that amount. I don't buy that argument unless he is willing to say that he will pay the $125M (or whatever the amount is supposed to be) out of his revenue and that anything over that amount he can keep in exchange for dropping the ticket tax idea (pretty sure he came out against the idea of ticket tax in the past)."

Suggesting a ticket tax is not a contribution by Katz or the Oilers is nonsense. The revenue stream DOES NOT EXIST without the Oilers. It is derived from the actual market value of what Katz can charge for tickets which exactly why Katz was reluctant to agree to it. Since it is"user pay" I can't think of any reason any intelligent taxpayer would oppose it.

2) Since the city insisted from the outset that it own the arena...the city became the landlord.

If you rent a house and the roof and furnace need replacing, should the tenant be responsible for those costs?

Operating costs were always part of the original framework with the city agreeing to find another source of funding for this. The city has not done so.

3) The Arena District is anticipated to be much larger than the "3 blocks" you mentioned. 3 blocks is only the arena itself and the Winter Garden.

4) Your math is very weak. Katz has committed $280M toward this project (I provided a breakdown above) and that does NOT included his purchase of the team.

5) The city has refused to shutter Rexall Place and, when Katz requested a non-competition clause, the city refused and instead agreed to pay Katz $2million/year in advertising for 10 years to compensate.

Disagree with you.

1) This argument is circular.

Tax doesn't happen if the Oilers don't exist, but the need for a new arena exists because of the Oilers. Weeeeee, what a fun merry-go-round that is.

As I understand the tax it will be a flat fee imposed on each ticket to each event so it has nothing to do with the market value of what Katz can charge (if I'm wrong please point out a source) so why the heck would Katz care about the tax aside from the fact that the City would be taking money that he wants for himself. You are right that it is user pay and so someone who doesn't go to games shouldn't have a care about the use of this money, but your comment seems to imply that I do care and that somehow I'm not intelligent. I never said one word about opposing the ticket tax. I pay a ticket tax right now that goes to pay the Oilers rent on Rexall as a Season Ticket holder so I'm already both feet in on this idea. I have no idea if you are a season ticket holder or not, are you? Or are you someone who only goes when a person gives you tickets for free? If you don't kick into this pool right now your opinions on this are of very little interest to me.

My comments on the ticket tax is that I am unwilling to allow Katz to claim that it is his contribution to the arena, the same way I am unwilling to allow Katz to claim that he pays rent to the City now. Why didn't he say to the City stop collecting the ticket tax right now and I will just write you a check for $5M a year for rent on Rexall? Sorry but he can not claim the contribution if he doesn't claim the expense and the risk. Nothing you say will change my opinion on that.

2) You are right the City does want to retain ownership of the building but Katz doesn't want to own it either so it is a moot point. The reason Katz doesn't want to own it is so he can put the operational cost on to the City, but commercial leases (which are drastically different from residential leases so please don't use the analogy of a home rental anymore) are net leases. So you pay me to use the space and then you pay me the costs of operating the space, the taxes on the space, the repairs on the space and the administration of the space. Cost of doing business. I pay it everyday with my business, what the heck is Katz's problem?

3) The word "anticipated" is the biggest problem with this whole mess. When will this anticipated development get done? 3 years from now? 5 years from now? 10 years from now? All the projected tax money the City is supposed to get is going to come from this development so how long before we get to start making that money?

Again the City is the one taking the risk not the Oilers, and it is out of the magical imaginary money (which is what it is until the time that the other development takes place) that we are supposed to come up with Operational rebate to the Oilers. And there isn't even a shovel in the ground yet so who cares if the City hasn't found its other source yet? If things are built and the City still hasn't lived up to its agreement then Katz can come back to the City and sue them.

4) My math isn't weak at all I just don't agree with your breakdown. I already said the $125M is not a contribution on his part so I don't give him credit for that. The $30M he is supposed to put into other development I don't care about either. That is for things NOT included in the arena and that is what we talking about. Using this kind of logic we should include the $10M or whatever the heck he spent on building his house too. Only arena $$ counts, and it certainly doesn't include the purchase of the Oilers either. And I find it telling that he claims to have paid out $70M to these other outside developments already but wants to pay his share of the $100M over 35 years. Where you put your $$ is where you put your priorities and I am pretty sure I know where he thinks he is going to make his money on this deal.

5)And as far as Northlands goes I believe that they have a lease with the City to use the arena for years to come so unless the City pays Northlands how many tens upon tens of millions of dollars to buy back that lease there is nothing that they can really do about it. That buy out would certainly be counted as a contribution by the City to the building of a new arena in order to give Katz his ultimate exclusivity that he wants. Northlands would shutter and dismantle the current arena if they were included in the new arena and their current streams of revenue were protected. That makes them no bigger a jerk in this whole affair than Katz and the Oilers. Both are bloated and both want the taxpayer to foot their bills.

Let me also be very clear. I do want a new arena to be built, and I'm fully willing to support the current deal the City has with Katz, but I find it cheap as all get out to have him plead that he can't be sure of the revenue streams for the operation of the building so the City should some how guarantee him $6M or whatever the amount is to ensure he can make a profit. Well the City has no guarantee on the taxes that will be created and yet they are willing to go into partnership with him on this deal and pay the lion's share of the expense. I want him to step up and be the big successful business man that he is and put his wallet on the line a little bit. That is the only way I am sure that he will be giving a damn about the success of this project, this team and this City.

Avatar
#35 mikezanier
September 24 2012, 09:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
David S wrote:

And just because I know it's coming...

Opponents are correct. Studies have shown that arenas have little or no net economic effect on their surroundings.

But we're talking about an ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT composed of stores, restaurants, office towers, condos, bars, casino AND AN ARENA linked with the greater downtown. The Downtown Business Association has estimated a total of as much as $5 BILLION in new development may be possible in no small part due to the arena district being a catalyst for all that development.

The thing is, our situation is somewhat unique. Our downtown has been egregiously underdeveloped at the expense of our suburbs. Many cities don't have the underlying potential as Edmonton, being located in one of the few economically uptrending parts of North America. This project might not work in many other places, but it has a very good chance of succeeding here.

The city isn't building an entertainment district. It's building an arena.

Where in the plans is the funding for the entertainment district?

With a CRL funding model in place, any sort of private investing will be stifled because the city will need to continually raise the assessment of all property within the CRL zone to use those property taxes to pay off the loans they took out. The CRL is based on increasing property taxes for everyone in CRL zone to direct those tax dollars towards the arena.

What kind of business is excited to build in an area where their property taxes are guaranteed to drastically increase year after year?

Staples uses Columbus as an example of great growth around new arena. Guess what. Columbus essentially cut all the property taxes to zero to spur development. Edmonton is proposing to do the exact opposite. In trying to trick taxpayers into thinking that CRL isn't tax dollars, this CRL scheme is guaranteeing property taxes increase.

And all the services the new development needs like water mains, police, ambulance service, LRT stations, that their property tax dollars would be paying for if they weren't be directly funneled into paying off city loans, will need to be recouped and paid for by everyone else in the city.

Avatar
#36 Ricky
September 22 2012, 12:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Welcome you on Oilers Now with Stauffer and Brownlee...fart catchers

Avatar
#37 wiseguy
September 22 2012, 01:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Anyone find it convenient that guys who were bought out and may have interests in real estate development downtown are putting pressure on city council? Saville pushing the downtown arena now and Cal Nichols previously speaking for the anti-airport closure group when the airport lands were considered as another option for the downtown arena? Is it a stretch to suggest that they were given shares in Katz's downtown business and residential condo project for support as part of the Oiler's sale? They were after all, two of the first EIG members to be brought on board when Katz made the unsolicited offer to purchase the team. They were counted on to convince and pressure the other less willing members to sell the team to Katz. This is not a conspiracy theory, just putting 2 and 2 together for what are common corporate tactics. The flip side is that Saville truly believes that there are much better markets for a hockey team even though the NHL just reluctantly moved a team to Winnipeg with an undersized arena and a much weaker economy and smaller population.

Avatar
#38 Jasmine
September 22 2012, 01:50AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@wiseguy

Anyone find it convenient to criticize the Oilers and Katz every chance they get. The Oilers have been criticized since Katz took over because he didn't do what fans wanted him to do. Fans wanted Katz to fire Lowe when he bought the team. Since Katz didn't do it, he is now hated.

Avatar
#39 Travis Dakin
September 22 2012, 02:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jasmine wrote:

Anyone find it convenient to criticize the Oilers and Katz every chance they get. The Oilers have been criticized since Katz took over because he didn't do what fans wanted him to do. Fans wanted Katz to fire Lowe when he bought the team. Since Katz didn't do it, he is now hated.

Jasmine, I don't know what it is with you and your anti-Oiler bashing stance. The Oilers have been "bashed" because they f*****g suck. Simple. The people in charge are "bashed" because they made the team that sucks.

As much as that pains me to say, its just not something that can be disputed.

Avatar
#40 JP
September 22 2012, 02:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Yeah it's a real shame that we're all just too jealous and dumb to understand what's going on.

Avatar
#41 TonyT
September 22 2012, 05:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

First off, this city needs a new arena. If you think that Rexall can be beautified with a makeover, you simply haven't been to any other "major" arena in N. America. Add more seats, put in new tile, and a new coat of paint, and that concourse is still as wide as some CHL rinks. Never mind the "extras". Having said that, I don't believe Katz will move this team, if anything the EIG will reconvene and buy the team. You'd think that with the $60 SRO seats they'd be able to assemble a team that didn't finish dead last.

Avatar
#43 Ryan
September 22 2012, 07:17AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I wonder, if Katz got control over current Rexall and Northlands was ousted ... would Katz care so much to build that Arena? Seems to me he just wants the control of an NHL arena more than anything.

Avatar
#44 Sliderule
September 22 2012, 07:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

At the moment Katz has three areas that are interested in an NHL team.Seattle,Kansas city or Quebec City. In all three areas there is a building either being built or already there.The only problem is in every case the building is owned by another party and he would just be a tenant.. If he really wants to run/own the building his best opportunity is Edmonton.

Avatar
#45 Spartacus
September 22 2012, 08:04AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

SAVILLE: "Let's get it signed and get on with it. This isn’t a get rich scheme for Daryl Katz. People who think that are just jealous. They don't understand the deal. It's unfortunate that Daryl is a bit of an introvert, you know? He doesn't like to appear in public. He doesn’t like to speak in public. But that's his personality. We all have personality traits.

This excerpt is particularly insulting. If you don't like the deal, you're just jealous. Really? That's how you're going to address that issue? What grade are you in, Mr. Saville.

How can a billionaire owner not understand public relations? If you have the personality of a stone, hire someone to speak for you. Have that person speak your message clearly and without being insulting to the public.

Daryl Katz saying, "My wife thinks I'm crazy, OK?" regarding money he's allegedly spent on this project doesn't suddenly make me think, "Oh, his wife thinks he's crazy? Well, good enough for me. Give him everything he wants."

How about Daryl Katz actually contributes something to this deal? From what I've seen the man is every bit as much a liar as was Pocklington. Where's your 100 million? Oh, it's coming from future revenue from the building the City of Edmonton is going to build for you? Wonderful.

Avatar
#46 Morgie99
September 22 2012, 08:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

First off Bob Stauffer is a loyal employee and has to be, and he is a shill like it or not

He lost all credibility when he suggested overpass' on the Henday were made so mothers in the Southwest could go shopping! He was trying to point out we have no problem spending millions on roads, but then squawk about arena funding, I wonder why? LOL It's called transportation. We drive cars etc

As for Katz, he's disingenuine in my eyes, says one thing does another, much like a politician

Vor commenting on a story called "grace" at lowetide has an excellent breakdown of potential arena costs revenues, etc

http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/09/grace.html

I used to think Katz purchase price was meaningless, but if he doesn't move the team it really isn't meaningless, he should expect a return on his investment, 5% per an um seems reasonable

So, based on Vor's calculations, assuming them to be accurate, Katz could make 28 mill in a good year or lose 10 mill in a year, depending on value of Canadian dollar, attendance etc

My problem is when you consider what the City is paying for this project almost 400 mill or more TSN article: 320 mill + pedway 25 mill + transit station http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=405733

The city's deal hinges on CRL working and we're still missing a 100 mill!

It seems Katz wants a guarantee ROI but what about the city, there's no guarantee, we'll even get province to pass CRL or that the CRL will pay off

Now Katz wants more!

The deal seems to rich already and frankly, I'd let the Oilers leave, there's already a lockout and we whould all practice getting on with our lives than subsidize a billionaire and unproven millionaire hockey players

Or the CRL is a boon and subsidizing these clowns is worth it, I pick the former

Avatar
#47 wiseguy
September 22 2012, 08:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@gongshow

@gongshow

I am certainly not painting anyone as greedy. I think very highly of Mr. Saville and Mr. Nicols. They are businessmen trying to build something they think is worthwhile for the city. Unfortunately for taxpayers, their project requires an arena as a centerpiece for development to differentiate it from the airport lands which will have an equally impressive development to compete with. This is all a land and development project, not an arena project. The city will benefit because of the increased tax revenues that the area will bring in. However, you have to be very careful with projected tax levies as the recent downsizing and postponement of the Century Park project has shown.

Avatar
#48 Morgie99
September 22 2012, 09:07AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
blue31 wrote:

Sadly, too many Edmontonians would rather lose the team than see Darryl Katz make money that "he doesn't deserve."

The spinoffs from a new arena would be enormous to Edmonton. Oilers leave town = 100s of lost jobs. New arena gets built = 1000s of new jobs. If the Oilers pack up & leave, we will never get a new arena in any form without an anchor tenant. And if we do, it will be 100% straight out of taxpayers wallets.

This is a reason why players don't want to come to Edmonton to enjoy our small-town mentality. This jealousy and hatred towards wealth and success absolutely astounds me.

Hi Blue31

First, opposing this has nothing to do with JEALOUSY

It comes down to balance, subsidizing a billionaire and giving him all the profits, with city taking on all the risks, so we can subsidize this farce is the rationale

It has everything to do with fearing this might be a big financial mistake a white elephant

There are countless of examples.

And countless examples that suggested such projects would be a financial boon, and in the weren't

That's not jealousy!

Now if you're right, and this is going to be a financial boon for the city, then as much as I hate the subsidy, I'm on board.

But there's no guarantee that will happen, you don't know that and i don't that!

As a result, I think it's foolish for the city to take on all the risk, and all for what, to subsidize pro sports?

If it doesn't make financial sense, then why bother! If it does, then full steam ahead!

Regardless,the project still is missing 100 mill, and despite Mandel suggesting that money will come from MSI, Councillor Henderson who supports the original deal, says MSI will not be funding this, so we're still 100 mill short.

Avatar
#49 Spartacus
September 22 2012, 09:14AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

edit: Damn! Double post.

Avatar
#50 Spartacus
September 22 2012, 09:21AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If I don't like the manner in which Katz has negotiated this arena deal, I must be jealous?

And if I'm against the war in Iraq, I must not be a patriot? I've seen this act before, I think they call it Dixie Chick-ing.

Stop talking to me like I'm an idiot and show me how this deal is fair to the City of Edmonton.

You don't even have to show that it's a good deal. Just show that it's somehow fair, that the person who will profit from this venture also invests in it and assumes some of the risk.

Katz claims that he's losing money running the Oilers. Meanwhile, Oilers fans have supported this P.O.S. team religiously, selling out every game since he's owned the club. Somehow, he can't make money. If that's true, it should be pretty easy to show your losses - not to the public, but to the City with which you're negotiating - yet he chooses not to prove this easily vefifiable claim while begging for more public money to finance an arena for his team to play in. The reason for that? He's a liar. Just ask Forbes.

I have to think that even a chimp could turn a profit with an NHL team in this city. Here's a suggestion for you Mr. Katz; do a better job of running your business.

Comments are closed for this article.