IN DEFENSE OF KAY-Z

Is this really how the arena talks are going? Now some tiny minds on City Council and the long ignored factions in the Edmonton Media are upset that Katz bought a condominium in Vancouver? Good heavens.

Earlier in the week the massive story broke that arguably the richest man in Edmonton also has a condominium in Vancouver now. This should obviously grind all talk of public money going into an arena to halt and the team should be forced to cease operation as of 3 PM EST today.

In addition, Katz house in Edmonton should be tagged with a giant "LIAR" and all his assets should immediately be seized and applied to a special Pothole Fund.

IT BOGGLES THE MIND

Says the Edmonton Journal:

"Has Oilers owner Daryl Katz quietly shifted his home base to Vancouver? That’s the rumour that has circulated in local business circles for months. And while several sources tell The Journal the reclusive drugstore tycoon now spends most of his time on the West Coast, where his children attend school, it’s unclear how much time he still spends in Edmonton."

The story starts out reasonably enough even if a high profile Edmontonian having homes all over hells half acre wouldn’t ordinarily be news. But Katz owns the Oil, which puts him squarely in the spotlight whether he wants to be or not. And he is seeking public money for an arena that should open in about 2056 if this pace of play continues.

Fair enough.

This must be a recent move to merit all of the attention right?

“A couple of years ago, he bought the top floor of the Pacific Rim hotel/condo project, on the waterfront right next to the Vancouver Convention Centre. He is going back and forth and his Edmonton house is still fully staffed, including his security.”

A couple of years ago? The guy has been shuttling back and forth – roughly 45 mins in a cool gold jet we imagine – and Edmonton’s media, political folk and business community are finding out about it now? Clearly out of the loop, how do they react?

Like crazy people it would seem.

ENTER COUN. ED GIBBONS

"Coun. Ed Gibbons, who has raised questions about the way the negotiations have been handled and alleged a lack of transparency from Katz, said he’s troubled by the rumours. “Wasn’t it always Katz’s reasoning that he’s a proud Edmontonian and he’s doing this for Edmontonians and for northern Alberta?” he asked.

“I guess if you say it enough times and loud enough, maybe people believe you’re an Edmontonian. I don’t blame him. With his kind of money you can have houses in Palm Springs or wherever. But it’s pretty clear when you move your kids out of the city to go to school elsewhere, this isn’t your permanent home anymore.”

Are these really the words of someone elected to represent the interests of Edmonians at the highest level? What does Gibbons want to do exactly? Handcuff Katz to the food court in Phase II at WEM? Encase him in bulletproof glass in Churchill Square so he can drive by and nod gravely as he leaves City Hall?

‘To be an Edmontonian you must live here 365 days of the year. We may allow for a two week vacation at some point in the year, but will need you to fill out some forms in advance. We want everyone in our City to succeed, but if that success takes you out of town on a regular basis for any reason, well we just don’t play that way up here’ seems to be the thinking. If the goal of the comments was to take pettiness and small minded thinking, put it on the National Stage under a banner marked "Edmonton" than mission accomplished Gibbons.

Oh please let you run for Mayor one day Ed. We need this broad strategic thinking at the highest post in the land if we are to get anywhere.

CLASSY PLAY

We don’t give two squirts where Katz lives. The guy is a Billionaire – he uses a private jet like a taxi cab. Prominent Edmontonians and media folks making an issue about this is a prime example of the obstacles our fine City will have to overcome if we are going to become a world class centre of commerce and lifestyle in the next 25 years.

Of all the folks involved with the Oilers we would love to see living in Vancouver – Katz certainly isn’t it. Tom Gilbert springs to mind as a better candidate, or perhaps Khabibulin would like to live out there while plying his trade. We are more concerned with the performance of the team and the construction status of the arena than where the owner is living on any given day.

NO SALE

Innuendo about Katz wanting to sell the team is another hearty knee slapper. Who on earth would buy our beloved Oilers should they go up for sale? Remember that the vast majority of uber-successful Edmontonians pick up and leave the minute their bank account reaches baller status. The Bill Comries and the Pat Bowlens – ultra rich Edmontonians with a penchant for sports team ownership – scooted out of town for reals.

Katz stays – at least part time – and chucks 200 million at the team and another 200 million at an arena project and is rewarded richly with suspicion and back chatter from tiny minded folks who would no sooner understand life at that level of success than we would.

Those knocking Katz for living in several cities had better hope that the man doesn’t actually want to sell the team. Because the list of potential owners would be zero, those who may have considered it must watch how Katz has been showered with aggrevation since he bought the team and would now think twice. It’s an incredibly expensive and thankless job it seems.

And petty minded Councillors would then watch the team sail out of town and could get back to asking for pothole filling updates and reports on the brain drain out of town.

Small market syndrome lives in the hearts and minds of too many in Edmonton. Those of us who feel differently need to speak up too, lest they think they are speaking all our behalf.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    I just want to point out that by the end of one of our head scouts tenure, he was living full-time in Arizona. Or was it Florida? Point is, if people plan on b*tching about working/living arrangements, then do it about someone that it would actually matter for.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    Gee wanye, if you turn down the season tickets… can I have them?!!!! Good article though and agree with everything you said. Some Edmontonians really really need to give their head a shake and see if there are actually any marbles left. Embarassing aren’t they… justwondering.

    • To be clear no one offered us season tickets to anything. And if they somehow involved Eberle in my mind control I would willingly do whatever I was told.

      TOM GILBERT IS A GOOD SIGNING

      REXALL BEER IS FAIR MARKET PRICING

      KEVIN LOWE NO LONGER IS INVOLVED IN HOCKEY DECISIONS

      *drools*

  • Katz living in Vancouver is called being a responsible parent. He obviously believes Mulgrave school which is a private school that his children will be attending in Vancouver is the best school in Canada. He wants to give his children as many educational advantages as possible and I commend him for that. I also commend him for moving to Vancouver with them rather than just shipping out his kids and staying behind in Edmonton.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    Rod Phillips lives in Arizona now.If I had the kind of money Katz has I would have a house in Italy and another one in Panama. Who the frak cares where he lives. My inlaws spend the better part of 4 months a year travelling the world. Does that make them any less an Emontonian?If Katz feels his kids education is better served in a school in Vancouver all the power to him. We all want our kids to succeed. Gibbons is seeing shadows where clearly there are none. Katz is doing whats best for his kids. I would too if I were in the same position. Why wouldn’t you? Gibbons should focus on snow clearing and less on where people live and don’t live.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    @wanye – jeez if you are gonna look for teets to suckle from then i would suggest agreeing with the esteemed gibbons….at least he lives here and is readily available for suckling manouvers.

    i hope the sarcasm is detected and duly noted.

    i don’t care where he lives, i care about the arena and the oilers. i don’t live in edmonton (stony plain) but i do consider it to be my city and would never sink to the level of cheering for a calgarian or otherwise.

    ps. kissing a@# is so last week, suckling is the future.

  • When I worked in McMurray, I “strongly disliked”(mom reading over shoulder) anyone saying they hated it. My response was always “GO HOME!” People from ALL OVER THE WORLD wanted to work in Fort McMurray, I got to go home every weekend. Some guys worked there for 3-5 years before even going home to see their wife and children. Quit being spoiled babies. “Ughhhhh, i only made more than an entire village in Africa does in a year today, I should be paid double time for the inconvenience that the free bus caused me today”

    This is a similar situation to Edmonton. Whiny babies always complain about it. I have a similar response to them, “LEAVE”. I LOVE THIS CITY! You didn’t mis-read that, I LOOOOOOOVE THIS CITY. Try it, it feels good! Ya, its cold in winter, big deal, puts hair on your nuts. Travel somewhere* when it’s -40. I’ve lived in Ottawa (humid and TONS of snow in winter), Calgary (ewwwww), Vancouver (rainy and dark all winter) and Edmonton (the glory of the world). This will ALWAYS be home. If I make a couple of billion loonies, like Kay-Z, you can bet on the fact that imma be spendin some loons all over the continentals. That doesn’t change the fact that I love this city and it’s extremely unfair to paint Katz with the same brush.

    My point is that we have this inferiority complex that we REALLY need to get over before we can make it to the next step as a city. Stop with the knee-jerk “He must not like it here” crap. He OWNS our crown jewel (Next to Mr.Donair of course), he loves it here!

    *With proper documentation of course

  • a lg dubl dubl

    “bank account reaches baller status” best line EVER lol.

    I could give to $hits where Katz lives as long as he keeps the bling comin in to the Oilers, with the amount of dough he’s donated over the yrs to this city in charities and inferstructre he should have a statue next to the GREAT ONE. If ever he’s had enough and sells the team and they move I’m right behind them in my uhaul.

    What really gets my nose out of joint in all this is the province is MOREthan willing to foot the bill on the new RAM building,340mil, but has a hard time sayin ok to 50-100mill to get started on the arena WTF! Aren’t they both considered inferstructure?

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    So, Mr. Wanye, I am assuming that YOU are assuming that Kay-Z reads ON (he should) and will call you up with a personal phone call saying “Thanks for sticking up for me brah, here’s some season tickets!”.

    Because that’s exactly what it looks like you are doing, writing an article that would make the bossman happy.

    How about a little “He’s a public figure, a billionaire and the owner of a small market team so he should expect some scrutiny, and deserves a little as well”

    FTR I agree with you, it’s emberassing that articles like that exist and politicians seem to make it a big deal.

    I love your articles Wanye, but your getting a little too one-sided IMO. Quit trying to suck-hole Katz, cause if he’s as smart as they say he is, he’s reading ON daily.

    EDIT: Not trying to tell you how to write though man, just trying to keep it real.

    • Fair points. I don’t know or care if Katz reads the Nation. So long as he doesn’t SUE the Nation I’m happy lol

      I am not trying to present a fair and balanced viewpoint here dude. I am presenting my opinions which fly in the face of all the negative nancies around these parts and get all the press.

      I don’t work for anyone and don’t have to kiss anyone’s ass. I would turn down tickets and spit at the Oilers offices if they ever contacted me.

      I believe in Edmonton and the Oilers. That doesn’t include anyone who works for the team or plays on it, nor does it include politicians elected on our behalf.

      • I would turn down tickets and spit at the Oilers offices if they ever contacted me.

        Man. If ever there was a textbook definition of “ethical dilemma”, this would be it.

        Roommate: “Hey Wanye! Some dudes in fedoras and black suits just showed up. Looks like they’re carrying a contract and a fancy gold-section season ticket package. Wanna let them in the house?”

        Wanye: (Hastily shoves empties under the couch). “Hmmm…freedom or golds. Freedom or golds. WHY DOTH THEY TEMPT ME???”

        • if dudes showed up at wanye manor offering season tickets in the gold section, and looking for Wanye, I’d put on my best eastern european accent and sign Wanyes life away!!! mmuuuaaahahahahaaaa!!!

        • Let’s just say that we could have done a few business deals to compromise our thinly veiled ideals on this site and we have not.

          Also: I am just happy to be wearing pants in this simulated dilemma. CLASSY

      • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

        Fair enough. I respect that greatly. Just don’t go selling out man, just don’t sell out. The nation needs an un-influenced voice and, to be honest, the article seemed a little ‘influenced’ at first.

        Crisis averted.

        • No no dude. Don’t worry about that sort of thing. When I sell out it will be to a consortium of Chinese industrialists and it will be my weapons guidance systems that they will want not the Nations.

          If anything I only plan on becoming more outspoken as the years go by and I can consider myself ‘an adult.’

  • Craiger

    yeah!!!

    *immediately runs outside to begin “sticking it to the man”.

    once outside, remembers he lives in palo alto, and “the man” is 2000 miles away. decides to stick it to zuckerberg instead… damn you zuckerberg, leave my oilers alone!

    wait, what..?

  • I was embarrassed to be from Edmonton when i read that journal article.

    Here is some context. When David Thompson put his money down for the Winnipeg Jets he mused about his strong commitment to the community of Winnipeg. But the absolute “horror” of the situation is that he actually lives in Toronto.

    I bet the fine folks in Winnipeg don’t have a inferiority complex about where the uber-billionaire Mr. Thompson resides.

    Get over it folks. Get the arena deal done and lets move on for @#$%^ sakes. Lets stop acting so 3rd rate.