SOMEBODY'S POISONED THE WATER HOLE!!

Lowetide
September 25 2012 07:41AM

 

The last 24 hours have been interesting times for the city of Edmonton. Fans found out a good portion of the ownership group and their icon collection were apparently shopping for a new city.

As with all things, context and understanding are vitally important. I'm no expert when it comes to the arena deal, but it looks like there are several pressure points on both sides:

  • Costs are going up
  • The negotiation has been going on for a generation and the two sides appear to have a wider gap than they did at the beginning.
  • The "deal" that had been agreed to--at least that was the fan's understanding--is now not good enough.
  • "Casino" money--part of the initial deal--may not be available.
  • The city has recently rejected the Katz group request for a subsidy.
  • Mr. Katz gave a long and meandering interview ("the White Album") in which he expressed frustration over the long and drawn out process.
  • Mayor Mandel suggested he was also frustrated and went public with the idea Katz talk to council with camera's on.
  • Katz and his entourage made their most public appearance in a new town, in a clear and perhaps desperate attempt to put pressure on the city. 

QUIT HORSING AROUND!

A statement released by the Oilers yesterday confirmed the visit and generally acknowledged that this was a pressure drop without actually saying the words. The statement did discuss the fanbase:

  • “We are extremely grateful to Oilers’ fans for their patience and loyalty as we work through this process towards what we sincerely hope will be a long and successful future for the Oilers in Edmonton. We have no further comment on the status of our discussions with other markets at this time.”

MY TAKE

The problem Mr. Katz is having–in my opinion–is that Edmontontians were very uncomfortable but willing to live with the deal made with the City. The mayor’s reaction to the new request for dollars was a perfect mirror for the citizens, and that gap–however wide–may be the hill the mayor and the city of Edmonton choose to die on.
 
Can the casino gap be made up with user fees? What about a "community fundraiser" committee ala the 1500 Saskatchewan Roughrider groups who help the team? What about--and don't kill me--a third partner who invests and also shares in the (obvious) profits?
 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

 
 
This isn't an easy negotiation for either side, and I do believe the city has stretched itself to the breaking point. The feeling I get in talking to Edmontonians is that they know the current deal is a huge win for Katz but are willing to live with it. Is there an appetite to go to 'infinity and beyond' for the Oilers and homey Daryl Katz?
 
I suspect we're about to find out.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Zamboni Driver
September 25 2012, 09:04AM
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@Woogie

For the ten millionth time...

The City...City Councillors (irrespective of their previous jobs - btw...the 'bus driver' isn't on Council anymore, if that's really an issue), voted TEN TO THREE IN FAVOUR of a deal that gave your superhero a sweetheart deal.

Now, like the 9 year old on the playground that gets what he wants, then figures he could have and should have asked for more....he's asking for more.

Now.

And to top it off, he's threatening to take his toys and go play in another playground.

And this is the CITY'S fault?

By the by...the City of Edmonton..

IS US.

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#2 Clarkenstein
September 25 2012, 08:00AM
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This is so indicative of the whole Katz reign of error. He simply doesn't know (or care) how to run a public business. He's a Dick. Period.

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#3 Quicksilver ballet
September 25 2012, 10:05AM
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What a debacle. He rounds up all his chumps to go on a 3 hr tour of a hole worse than rexall. What did that jaunt cost, a hundred grand for Katz and all his yes men. What a sham.

Like that sale would have a shot to make it before the Board of Governors.

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#4 rubbertrout
September 25 2012, 08:49AM
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Lowetide, the images in this article were a huge disappointment. Go back to the well and bring us what we have now come to expect.

When I open one of your articles I want to see the pretty ladies damnit!

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#5 Zamboni Driver
September 25 2012, 09:15AM
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@G Money

"No team will *ever* move here if Rexall is the place they move to."

True...

No NHL team will also *ever* move to the Key Arena or the soon-to-be-built-100%-by-private-money arena in Seattle where the NBA owner (when the NBA goes back) will get all the revenue...either.

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#6 Zamboni Driver
September 25 2012, 10:19AM
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michael wrote:

And furthermore to the whiners who begrudge Katz his Billion dollars. Stop whining and go get a job. 99.98% of us will never be anything more than grunts. Live with it.Embrace it. Envy and jealousy are for those who can't afford a ticket on the train to nowhere. Good for Katz.Good for Saville. And Al Owen and for Don Southern. If it wasn't for these guys a lot of Albertan's wouldn't have a job. Its because of these people shmucks like me pay my house tax's and can afford to send my kid to camp,and music lessons and so forth. Big picture. We need guys like Katz who can make money so that guys and gals like us can afford to live and eat and enjoy the benefits of this great City and Province.The sooner the anti-arena people get that the stressed out they'll make the rest of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, we achieve clarity now at last.

Katz is better than us we should just give him everything he wants because...

...you know...

of the 'being better' aspect.

Thank you michael for helping me, personally, achieve enlightenment.

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#7 book¡e
September 25 2012, 11:11AM
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@Walter Sobchak

Yes, by God, give Katz whatever he wants - anything - if $6-7 million is not enough give him $10-15 million. How can the man survive on a mere 15% profit per year on his investment in this economy.

Sigh - no one is advocating that the City flush the team over a few million dollars, but Katz is playing a pretty basic game here and I, for one, would be pretty disappointed if council did not call him for this level of a bluff.

If I were the City I would develop a backup plan to keep the Oilers - $220 million to buy the team and $450 to build a new arena. At least that way they will get the profits from taking the business risk. It would be pretty difficult for NHL cities to accept the NHL allowing a team to leave a city with a willing owner, a strong market, and a new arena.

There is no reason to give Katz superprofits in this deal. A good, honest deal is all that is needed and Katz should not be holding the city hostage so that he can turn this into a golden goose.

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#8 Captain Obvious
September 25 2012, 12:01PM
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If people are going to have an opinion on this deal they might as well base it on some facts.

Fact #1 Publicly funded arenas are in general bad economic investments for cities. All economists (i.e. 100% agree on this). In those rare cases where an argument for publicly funded arenas make sense in particular circumstances the break even point is somewhere around 20% public investment.

Fact #2 Katz not only wants a 100% publicly funded arena but he wants operating subsidies on top of that funding. The technical details surrounding the deal conceal this.

These are the facts. I was willing to support the original deal because of the intangible benefits to me personally, and because of the aesthetic appeal it would mean for downtown. However, intelligent conversation on the arena begins with recognizing that the original deal was a bad economic deal for the citizens of Edmonton.

However, we are well past the breaking point. If saying no to the arena means Edmonton loses the Oilers I am fine with that trade.

The city has leverage here. Edmonton doesn't need the Oilers. If he doesn't want a 10% return on investment here I am perfectly fine with the Oilers leaving forever. In fact, as an Oiler fans and an Edmontonian, I would rather the Oilers leave than engage in terrible public policy.

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#9 Zamboni Driver
September 25 2012, 12:39PM
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David S wrote:

No. He's asking for the original deal, which was for a casino to be built on the premises and the profits being used to offset operations costs.

The city hasn't made any progress on that front (after four friggin' years!), so he's saying "Fine. Then just pay me that operations money as a subsidy."

An operations "subsidy" was always on the table. Katz is just forcing the issue to get the city off it's ass and do something. If they can't make the casino thing work it's up to them to present an alternative or work with Katz to make something, ANYTHING happen.

Part of the problem, as mentioned above, is that council isn't negotiating with Katz. Farbrother and his admin team is handling that task, which I'm sure is leading to a breakdown in communication.

Now I have all sorts of issues with politicians, but they at least know what they're in charge of.

At NO TIME would the City have promised a casino because they can't. Casinos have absolutely nothing to do with a City. That's provincial and last I heard Alberta Lotteries (or whoever) had not heard anything from Katz.

The City of Edmonton also cannot operate its own casino....nor really do I think that an individual can since this isn't Vegas. 50% of table and 25% of slots goes to a different non-profit group (including public and private, but not Catholic...don't get me started on that one...schools) - the remainder goes to the Province.

Also, in what parallel universe does a negotiating party have to find ways to get the OTHER party more money.

"Hey I want to buy your house, I'll give you $100,000."

"Sure. And not only that, actually I'll go talk to your boss about GUARANTEEING you a raise so the payments aren't so steep."

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#10 Woogie
September 25 2012, 08:41AM
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Man this arena is really starting to frustrate me!

23 ave interchange Cost $286 million Art gallery cost $88 million

Why did nobody care of these projects who all ran WAY OVER BUDGET. but when it comes to an arena everyone has an opinion and now suddenly cares.

New rink downtown is a WIN - WIN for KATZ and the CITY!

GET'ER done already!

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#11 book¡e
September 25 2012, 09:06AM
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Screw Daryl Katz and his boy toys Gretzky and Lowe.

Katz had his opportunity to be a hero (Batman) if he just followed through with the deal he presented when he bought the team ($100 million + sports facilities at the U of A), but instead the businessman in him is now trying to squeeze every dollar out of the city and soon he will be as beloved as Pocklington became. Somehow he is managing to take Gretzky and Lowe with him (I guess they like his crumbs). Edmonton is a good hockey market and will be so for at least the next 25 years. He can get a better arena deal elsewhere, but will earn less hockey revenue.

The real problem here is that the City negotiates a deal with Katz' representatives and then Katz changes the deal. Its as though Katz and his own team are not in sync. This has happened three times now. The mayor is sick of it, so he is calling for public negotiations so that Katz needs to make it clear what he wants in front of witnesses so that if an agreement is struck that Katz does not change it again.

I don't see how people are blaming the city on this. They offered up a good deal and Katz agreed to it. Katz continues to change his 'ask' making it difficult for the City to respond.

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#12 mayorpoop
September 25 2012, 09:08AM
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Woogie wrote:

What makes this crazier is we have people on council who were bus drivers for petes sake. Sure he might be a great guy however the city of Edmonton and all government for that matter are the largest businesses in the country yet are run by people who couldn't run a gas station properly.

I get everyone votes our representatives in however most of the time those representatives aren't the best for those positions.

Imagine if Bill Gates, or Steve Job (RIP) ran the city instead of their respective businesses. The arena would have been built 5 years ago!

the whole bus driver thing is really dumb to say. just because he was a bus driver doesn't make him stupid or any less able to deal with the people he represents. cause that's kinda his job. representing the citizens of his area.

there a lot of examples of really smart successful people who do not have an education or a very high level of it. they can ahcieve and understand things as well.

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#13 book¡e
September 25 2012, 09:18AM
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@G Money

"No team will ever move here if Rexall is the place they move to."

True - but there are teams that would move here to a new arena for less than what Katz is seeking.

Winnipeg has 2/3 the population of Edmonton and is not in one of the strongest economies in the world right now (with modest projections predicting 25+ years of sustained growth ahead).

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#14 Woogie
September 25 2012, 09:32AM
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mayorpoop wrote:

the whole bus driver thing is really dumb to say. just because he was a bus driver doesn't make him stupid or any less able to deal with the people he represents. cause that's kinda his job. representing the citizens of his area.

there a lot of examples of really smart successful people who do not have an education or a very high level of it. they can ahcieve and understand things as well.

I'm not saying that he is not smart or successful my point is the system as a whole.

Have you seen a debate in the legislature? It's like a bunch of 5 year olds arguing. What is the point of this? There is a reason why companies aren't run this way.

Perhaps using the bus driver was poor taste however my point is the best people to run these billion dollar companies (government) aren't the best ones in the first place for many reason. It's just unfortunate really.

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#15 mayorpoop
September 25 2012, 09:40AM
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@Woogie

thanks for the clarification.

i went to question period in Ottawa once it was a disgrace to every canadian who votes for these dolts.

i want the arena done as much as anybody but at some point the guy drawing all the lines in sand (Katz) must realize he's really sh!tty with an etch-a-sketch. time to put it away and draw up a real proposal. one that also works for the citizens of Edmonton.

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#16 Zamboni Driver
September 25 2012, 10:22AM
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@NewAgeSys

On top of using your spell-checker, you REALLY need to get your facts straight on the City's position.

Again.

Slowly.

...actually maybe I will mis-spel sum words so you can get it.

The City.

The elected people who put in those annoying bus lanes Already Said. Yes.

Now, the great Daryl Katz, better than us, is asking for more.

It's blackmayal, I tell you, blackmael.

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#17 Cody Petruk
September 25 2012, 10:28AM
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1. Let Katz move to Seattle. He'll end up having to pay rent in a city that is an untested hockey market. If he really thinks he'll make more money there then let him try.

2. Knock a few frills off and build the arena with 100% city money.

3. Watch as the Coyotes, Predators, Blue Jackets, etc. line up for a chance to relocate to Edmonton. Given the strength and profitability of our market, any of them would play at Rexall Place while the new arena is getting built.

4. Charge the new team rent and, yeah, share some of the profits from the new arena... but don't give them as good a deal as Katz would have gotten.

Katz flounders in Seattle. Edmonton pays exactly what we're to pay now for a new arena, pocket more of the profits AND not miss a single game.

Down side? We'll all have to buy new jerseys?

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#18 B S
September 25 2012, 12:18PM
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book¡e wrote:

Katz can't move the team - the NHL won't let him - there is no way it could do so and maintain any level of confidence with other cities.

$6-8 million per year is a lot of money and could fund a lot of things in this city.

I don't blame Katz at all for trying to get as good of a deal as he can, but I do not at all appreciate the approach he is taking.

I think Mandel's call this morning for the Oct 17th sit down was a good one - he called Katz' bluff and I think that it will work out well for the City.

I mostly just wanted to re-post this. You more or less nailed it.

Franchise rights are owned by the NHL, not Katz, if he wants to move the franchise it has to be approved by the board of Governers (who, being other owners, share revenue from TV deals and NHL trademarked goods) At a time when a third of their teams are losing money (or without an owner) they aren't going to move a team from a sure profit. It would be like moving a McDonalds out of West Edmonton Mall even though it's turning a consistent profit. McDs is going to find a new owner rather than let the current one take the franchise.

I agree that if Katz doesn't want the team anymore the city should just buy it and build the Arena itself. Katz has been pushing the idea, but not the money, yet he wants all the profit for the next 30 years. Call his bluff, compromise, and if he won't meet you half way, make an offer for the team.

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#19 dawgbone
September 25 2012, 12:27PM
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David S wrote:

So paying $100M worth of the mortgage and giving up $125M in ticket tax somehow equates to "100% publicly funded arena"?

The operations expenses were to be covered by a casino on the premises, which the city was supposed to facilitate. Either they haven't been able to make it happen or just never got around to it. This was part of the original deal. The operation expenses were on top of the $100M, not a substitute. You're double-dip accounting if you make that assumption.

He's not paying $100 M of the mortgage though. Part of that $100M is coming from the city in terms of advertising.

And the $125M in ticket tax isn't his either. The city is fronting it and it gets paid over time.

In any case, the original deal was bad, the new one he's trying to pull is much, much worse.

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#20 Captain Obvious
September 25 2012, 03:22PM
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@DMan

See the Zymbalist report, or really any of the economic literature on sports arenas. Now that report was commissioned by Northlands but it is based upon independent, peer-reviewed, research.

The city of Edmonton is projecting 1.4 to 3.0 billion dollars of revenue because they are trying to sell the deal. However, that isn't new revenue to the city, it is revenue that either is redirected from investments that would have occurred elsewhere or is part of the normal inflationary process of development.

Second, sports teams do not contribute a lot to local economies. The reason is that the income they capture is discretionary, which means they take money away from other local entertainment options, while a large amount of their expenses escape the local economy.

Third, to respond to David S's point, the ticket tax is not money that Katz is putting up. While it is true that it is revenue that he is foregoing, if the team did not exist that money would be spent elsewhere in the economy which would in turn drive exactly the kind of investment the arena is supposed to produce. A tax is still a tax. It is not money that Katz is spending.

Add all these things up and a new arena will not provide an economic benefit to the city. On this, all economists agree. There are no success stories.

Now there is benefit in redirecting investment towards downtown. However this is not a net benefit, or if it is a net benefit, it is small. It does make the city better, however a publicly funded arena of this kind is a bad way to achieve this goal if the % of funding gets too high because it prevents the city from doing other things that could accomplish the same goal. Opportunity cost, and what not. Zymbalist recommends 20% public financing. There is room to quibble over the precise numbers but the chasm between a reasonable deal (say 25% financing) and what Katz wants is so large that there is no argument to be had here.

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#21 JonW
September 25 2012, 10:25PM
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I am still trying to understand why people think museum = arena. The big difference is no other levels of government are funding the Arena. The RAM is being built with a combo of Fed and Provincial funding. Two are not even close to similar.

Katz group taking credit for paying for half of the arena better look at their numbers again. 125 million coming from the ticket buying public in the form of a ticket tax is not his money. Unless he is planning on charging fans the equivalent amount less in ticket prices (we know how that works)this is propaganda plain and simple.

This move by the Katz group yesterday really angered me. I was a supporter of public money for the arena. I believe the deal is not great but it should work over the long term as long as the surrounding area can fund the CRL. But the idea that somehow the Oilers are subsidizing anything is ridiculous. Far from it the CRL will be only dedicated to funding the arena until it is paid off so no tax money goes anywhere else during that period.

This means a significant drain on possible funding. Now we can argue that this funding would not exist without the arena but lets not make it out as some kind of free found money.

And it is not equal to funding older neighbourhoods or newer ones because the total cost of the arena may do little to entice people to flock downtown. Or create multiple jobs past construction. If anything it is a nice to have which MIGHT trigger a small amount of development.

The concept that somehow the Oilers are the white knights in all this I would have hoped is passed. Pocklington at least gave the city Five Stanley Cups before his business collapse created the horror scenes in the early nineties. Katz so far has offered up a poor product a premium prices with threats to move to places in no position to accept the team.

Great move, man I am so negative compared to a year ago on this.

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#22 tired
September 25 2012, 07:52AM
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Can't believe it is not done

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#23 mayorpoop
September 25 2012, 07:56AM
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well this post will barely garner any interest.

next time write on something topical please LT :)

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#24 vetinari
September 25 2012, 08:00AM
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To go in a completely different direction, if Katz & co. are only willing to throw in about $100M or so into the kitty, why not just have the city and province pick up the whole tab on the condition that Katz keeps the Oil in Edmonton for 35 years with the profit going to the city and the province?

My thoughts are that Katz maybe made a bad move by going openly to Seattle at this time... it only reinforces that the Oil are his personal toy to do with as he pleases and that if he doesn't get his way, he's out the door at the first opportunity. Lockout or no lockout, I guarantee you that if this mess is still not sorted out when hockey resumes, I'll watch the Oil on tv but not be going to the games...

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#25 Bhussey
September 25 2012, 08:16AM
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I wonder which happens first. The lease with Rexall runs out or a new CBA.

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#26 DonDon
September 25 2012, 08:16AM
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It will be forty years ago this October I attended the inaugural home game of the Alberta Oilers in the old Edmonton Gardens arena. Been a fan ever since, through the winning and losing seasons, but it appears this is about to end. Not because of the NHL lockout of the players. How did it happen when it shouldn't have?

I'm sure there will be many "he said, she said" stories attempting to explain the the inexplicable. Blame will be placed. Many Edmontonians, even those not necessarily good fans, will experience the heartbreak Winnipeggers did when the Jets moved lock-stock-and-barrel to Phoenix. It left a hole in their hearts but, after many years, they finally found a replacement.

My sense is that Daryl Katz never fully understood what it was he bought when he acquired the Edmonton Oilers. An asset, a toy? Who really knows?

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#27 dawgbone
September 25 2012, 08:23AM
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vetinari wrote:

To go in a completely different direction, if Katz & co. are only willing to throw in about $100M or so into the kitty, why not just have the city and province pick up the whole tab on the condition that Katz keeps the Oil in Edmonton for 35 years with the profit going to the city and the province?

My thoughts are that Katz maybe made a bad move by going openly to Seattle at this time... it only reinforces that the Oil are his personal toy to do with as he pleases and that if he doesn't get his way, he's out the door at the first opportunity. Lockout or no lockout, I guarantee you that if this mess is still not sorted out when hockey resumes, I'll watch the Oil on tv but not be going to the games...

Because that's not what Katz wants. He wants control of the arena (which means he gets the profit from the events).

If it was a simple matter of whoever builds the arena keeps it, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Katz wants his brand new arena, but doesn't want to invest his own money in it. Everything coming from Katz is in the form of deferred (subsidized) payments, ticket taxes, etc...

The original deal was pretty bad for Edmonton tax payers. The one Katz is pushing for is much much worse.

Katz knows the real money isn't in the arena. It's in the developmental opportunities near the arena, that's where he wants to put his money.

The team is not leaving. He wants to build up that area because it represents a huge windfall for him. This is all posturing.

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#28 Reality Check to the head
September 25 2012, 08:27AM
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This trip to Seattle is a not to gentle reminder of the Oiler Reality. You need to appreciate what you have or else you will lose it.

The problem (imo) is the Katz has to deal with a group that has to deal with a very small minded but vocal group (ie: Female newspaper journalist -puked in my mouth a calling her a journalist-) that has for the most part been against the arena deal.

The other part of the problem is that City Council cannot make a timely decision. This is a problem with most beauracratic states. I for one cannot understand how the richest province per capita in North America cannot find away to make this arena work. I understand the complexities of the federal, provincial, and local funding relationship and that we have other provincial issues: such as crappy schools, long medical waits etc, etc. But you would really hope they would want to distract the local populace with a shiny new arena. Maybe I am just hoping.

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#29 OilDoug
September 25 2012, 08:27AM
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Lowetide,

I don't live in Edmonton but I'm as big a fan of the Edmonton Oilers as there is in Edmonton or any city on this planet. I don't percieve to have the right to tell the citizens of the city how to proceed whenn it comes to this arena deal/noegotiation. I do, however, live in a city, St. John's, that was basically told to build a new arean or we would lose our hockey team. At the time it was the farm club for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Our city went back and forth and had continuos debate on how to proceed. We eventually decided to build a new arena and it too went well over budget or costs increased. That's simply a fact of life and business. The sad part of our story is we still lost our hockey team as the powers that be with the Maple Leafs decided they needed their team closer to Toronto. Trust me, thats not a scenario you and the citizens of Edmonton want to go through.

The same people who voiced opostion to the arena being built in St. John's were even more vocal when the team left town and the stadium esentially became a white elephant. We've since been fortunate enough to acquire the Jets farm team and we've packed the building to the rafters and been the talk of the AHL.

The point I'm trying to make is that it may "hurt" in the short term to get the building built. But it will really hurt if the team leaves when something could have been done to keep it there.

Mr. Katz is a business man and Mayor Mandel is the mayor. Both want whats best for the city. Katz is an Edmontonian and Oiler fan. He's been a fan of the team since the glory days of the 80's. Do you really think he wants to be known as the man who ended the Edmonton Oilers? I don't. Mayor Mandel, on the other hand, doesn't want to be known as the mayor who ended the Edmonton Oilers. So there has to be a way to make a deal.

Rexall Place is past its best before date. The building is amongst the oldest in the NHL. It's too small to allow the Oilers to be viable and compete in the NHL. Renovations will not make the building into what it needs to be. A new building is needed.

The thing that frustrates me as an Oiler fan outside of Edmonton is I want the team there long term and I'm looking for an excuse to visit your city again. One excuse would be during Rexall's farewell season and the other would be to see the new building.

I know opinion is divided as to what to do. I just think that should the arena deal fail and the Oilers leave town the people who are objecting to the arena being built will be the same people who complain when trade shows, conventions, concerts, etc. by pass Edmonton and go to Calgary, Vancouver and other cities. It happened here in St. John's so I have no doubt it will happen there.

Quite simply a way has to be found to make this work. It will be a benefit for Edmonton in the long run! The 2017 Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers are counting on it!

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#30 j
September 25 2012, 08:30AM
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Clarkenstein wrote:

This is so indicative of the whole Katz reign of error. He simply doesn't know (or care) how to run a public business. He's a Dick. Period.

Public business? I'm not sure which part of the Oilers is a public business. When the City of Edmonton (COE) decided to build a new museum, there was no public outcry. In fact, it was supported wholeheartedly. What if a private businessman stepped up and offered millions of dollars to support the museum build and invest in the surrounding infrastructure. Also, he offered to be the primary tenant i.e. would ensure the building had a marquee show for 35 years. The caveat? He gets to participate in the profits. In fact, he gets most of the profits as he is responsible for the day to day operations for most of the year. That seems like a pretty good deal for the COE. They were going to build the museum anyway but have now been given a better deal whereby they have secured a 35 year tenant who pays top dollar. The rest of this writes itself...

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#31 bdiddy18
September 25 2012, 08:41AM
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I think City Hall should form a committee and file a report back to Council.

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#32 Dawn
September 25 2012, 08:42AM
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Enough is enough. I'm so tired of all. Side A says the arena is being paid for 100% by the city. Side B says Katz is paying 50% for 0% ownership. None of us really knows what the story is. But everyone has an opinion. And the people that do know only publish the spin.

Build it. Don't build it. Whatever. Call me when it's over.

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#33 Woogie
September 25 2012, 08:46AM
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What makes this crazier is we have people on council who were bus drivers for petes sake. Sure he might be a great guy however the city of Edmonton and all government for that matter are the largest businesses in the country yet are run by people who couldn't run a gas station properly.

I get everyone votes our representatives in however most of the time those representatives aren't the best for those positions.

Imagine if Bill Gates, or Steve Job (RIP) ran the city instead of their respective businesses. The arena would have been built 5 years ago!

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#34 JB
September 25 2012, 08:47AM
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The last section of that Oilers release is a joke. The Katz Group could give two craps about the fans; hence their threat to leave. I hope they stay (good for the city), but I'll never buy another piece of Oilers gear or shop at a Rexall pharmacy. Katz and his entourage of yes-men can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.

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#35 Clarkenstein
September 25 2012, 08:54AM
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@j

I think you know what I meant by "public business"... as opposed to his Drugstores, real estate etc. He is showing his true colours. I say show him and his buddy Kevin the door and then sit back and go through the 4 or 5 requests we'd have to move a failing US based team here. Believe me, we wouldn't be without a hockey team for 5 minutes!! I used to be in Katz' corner but he can pound sand after this immature display.

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#36 Rick
September 25 2012, 09:01AM
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Once the dust settles and Katz gets a few spare minutes he really needs to make the firing of his PR team priority #1.

When is the last time you saw someone squander somuch good will in such a short period of time?

In is mind numbing that he - and his handlers - can be so out of touch with the common man to not understand that when asking for public involvement, you need to...you know...involve the public.

The last time we saw this tact employed it basicallu became the straw that broke the camel's back and although the owner was able to pat himself on the back for ultimately getting the deal he wanted on a newly renovated building, you could also hear the slapping sound clear accross the Coliseum because it was, by that point, only filling half way.

Any chance Katz learns a similar lesson on taking the fans for granted?

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#37 nathan
September 25 2012, 09:04AM
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Was wondering why Katz chose the lockout to go to the mattresses, but the timing makes sense when you realize he's ransoming Boys on the Bus II. Got Hall and Eberle signed long term just before the lockout. And the lockout keeps RNH and Yakupov away from the soap opera.

He gets his casino deal or something else or we watch the lottery picks win Stanley elsewhere and get a non-playoff team back in about 5 years when we dance for Bettman. This will be all over one way or the other before the lockout ends so Katz doesn't even need to bother with Bettman playing mediator again.

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#38 EL PRESIDENTE
September 25 2012, 09:07AM
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Lowetide, a photoshop contest is the only thing left to help us poor Oilers fans through these dark days, without one soon, I'm afraid we'll lose more than a few down the old saskatchewan river. So please, have a photoshop contest, maybe in the theme of TOY STORY, Katz kinda reminds me of Buzz and Mandel KInda reminds me of Woody.

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#39 G Money
September 25 2012, 09:09AM
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Clarkenstein wrote:

I think you know what I meant by "public business"... as opposed to his Drugstores, real estate etc. He is showing his true colours. I say show him and his buddy Kevin the door and then sit back and go through the 4 or 5 requests we'd have to move a failing US based team here. Believe me, we wouldn't be without a hockey team for 5 minutes!! I used to be in Katz' corner but he can pound sand after this immature display.

A common delusion, and perhaps one of the reasons fans aren't realizing that what Katz is offering is actually a pretty reasonable deal.

No team will *ever* move here if Rexall is the place they move to.

So before any of those "four or five" teams are making any requests, the city will have to fund 100% of the building of a new arena. AND will have to offer concessions in line with what Katz wants.

That's what Winnipeg had to do BTW (notwithstanding the richest man in Canada was involved in building the arena).

It is far far easier to keep a team than it is to get a new one shortly after you lost the previous one.

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#40 Fresh Mess
September 25 2012, 09:14AM
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Either the city should buy the Oilers and build the arena themselves, or let the corporate welfare bum leave.

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#41 ubermiguel
September 25 2012, 09:19AM
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"In Seattle, initially skeptical city councillors agreed to put up $200 million for the new arena after Hansen promised to personally guarantee the city’s debt."

From: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/edmonton-oilers-investigating-move-south-to-seattle-1.970236#ixzz27UjMt8Nv

Did I miss the time when Katz personally guaranteed Edmonton's debt on $200 million? That's what getting a rink built takes.

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#42 geoilersgist
September 25 2012, 09:33AM
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It is just postering by Katz. He is trying to force the city to give him more. Who knows perhaps he was trying to see how Hansen managed to get his deal paid for and done in a timely manner.

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#43 Zamboni Driver
September 25 2012, 09:40AM
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@mayorpoop

"there a lot of examples of really smart successful people who do not have an education or a very high level of it. they can ahcieve and understand things as well."

See: Lowe, Kevin, Grade 11 dropout

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#44 mayorpoop
September 25 2012, 09:50AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

"there a lot of examples of really smart successful people who do not have an education or a very high level of it. they can ahcieve and understand things as well."

See: Lowe, Kevin, Grade 11 dropout

i have NO idea the direction this commnet is going.

*passes hand written note* "Do you like Lowe or not, check yes or no"

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#45 darren
September 25 2012, 09:50AM
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Katz is a successful businessman because he knows how to make profitable decisions/ deals...

counsel is so scared to be outdone... over matched...out manoeuvred...

its good for everybody involved, city/katz/fans/small business spin off/ down town...even the tax payer gets ahead with the tax growth through development of down town and extra tax revenue that creates...

what's the problem???

it its simple MATH...add it up...

small minded people don't see big pictures that well at all...

Katz makes money... GET OVER IT...let him get his share...

Our Province is based on REALLY rich companies coming here and investing BILLIONS to exploit our resources to make BILLIONS...its how the world works...invest money to make money...

We'd rather prop up with tax dollars a "non" profit outfit to run things...badly...

HOLY FRIGGING CRAP ALREADY...

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#46 Bill
September 25 2012, 09:56AM
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Katz is doing to his bed here what a cat does in its litterbox.

If indeed the Katz group and the Oilers even HAVE a PR department, clearly they have a specific mandate from Katz OR they don't understand the concept of "public relations".

In all the dealings involving Katz as the Oilers' owner, and his negotiations with the City of Edmonton over the arena, this gambit with Seattle is strangely the most public, the most transparent, and the most crass. This strategy might have flown in the early '90's but it clearly doesn't in 2012 in Edmonton.

I don't know what the best case is for Katz here, he's obviously trying to find leverage to use against the city. The worst case for him (assuming he cares) is that he's souring what reputation he has in this city.

To make it clear, the best case for Katz is for him to don the white hat, to make the overture that will get this negotiation moving. I suspect there is definitely middle ground that can be achieved at this point between the City and Katz Group.

What would be the difficulty in both sides agreeing to an outside mediator? I would think that this would at least get the obstacles and the remaining issues out in the open. Both sides are letting on like the other side knows what the issues are, yet nothing is happening. Someone obviously needs to facilitate the process for both parties, because they're not getting it done on their own.

Time for Katz to be the bigger man, the corporate citizen.....and make a bit of a move for this process to proceed. For their part, the City cannot continue to have the perception of small-mindedness. They're going to have to move toward the middle ground as well.

We supporters of professional hockey in Edmonton are getting it from all directions these days, it this whole charade is wearing thin.

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#47 michael
September 25 2012, 10:02AM
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@bdiddy18 I raise you one committee and two third party analysts. The bureaucratic nightmare makes the "Vogons" from Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy look competent. Anymore politicking an this Arena will cost Billion dollars and be built on the Clover Bar landfill in 20 years.The anti-arena groups must be just laughing this morning over their $4.00 cups of Mocha Latte. Who the frick did we get on council for a bunch of yahoos who can't get it through there heads that this Arena is the most important project on the City's agenda. The stalling,hemming an hawing are not conductive to be good business.My feeling is that the council should have had this signed sealed and tendered by now. Sick. I am so so sick I am considering moving to Calgary just so I don't have put this BS. Atleast I'll have a hockey team to watch when the NHL an the PA get their heads out of their butts in 2013.

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#48 The Towel Boy
September 25 2012, 10:05AM
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Woogie wrote:

What makes this crazier is we have people on council who were bus drivers for petes sake. Sure he might be a great guy however the city of Edmonton and all government for that matter are the largest businesses in the country yet are run by people who couldn't run a gas station properly.

I get everyone votes our representatives in however most of the time those representatives aren't the best for those positions.

Imagine if Bill Gates, or Steve Job (RIP) ran the city instead of their respective businesses. The arena would have been built 5 years ago!

...and it'd have FREE WIFI!!!

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#49 michael
September 25 2012, 10:11AM
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And furthermore to the whiners who begrudge Katz his Billion dollars. Stop whining and go get a job. 99.98% of us will never be anything more than grunts. Live with it.Embrace it. Envy and jealousy are for those who can't afford a ticket on the train to nowhere. Good for Katz.Good for Saville. And Al Owen and for Don Southern. If it wasn't for these guys a lot of Albertan's wouldn't have a job. Its because of these people shmucks like me pay my house tax's and can afford to send my kid to camp,and music lessons and so forth. Big picture. We need guys like Katz who can make money so that guys and gals like us can afford to live and eat and enjoy the benefits of this great City and Province.The sooner the anti-arena people get that the stressed out they'll make the rest of us.

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#50 G Money
September 25 2012, 10:12AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Either the city should buy the Oilers and build the arena themselves, or let the corporate welfare bum leave.

Indeed, this is the 'fair deal' for the taxpayers of Edmonton. Since the City will never pony up the cash to buy the Oilers, it basically means that the Oilers will leave, whether people believe this is posturing or threatening on the part of Katz or not. Katz would have no choice.

And then the citizens of Edmonton can pony up the entire cost of building a new arena, then cry in their cups for the next 20 or so years waiting and hoping for a new team.

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