KATZ GETS IT RIGHT

Daryl Katz got it right today, and I believe Edmonton Oiler fans will be very pleased with his latest action.

 

THE BACK STORY

Many of us who are pro-Katz just couldn’t understand the actions of recent weeks. Although it is understandable that frustration sets in, and it is reasonable to expect an empire builder to push for the best possible deal, the one thing I felt Katz would not do is threaten the fanbase. God knows he’s old enough to remember the past scares, and Edmonton does in fact have a fragile ego when it comes to keeping their beloved Oilers.

Earned or unearned, someone my age will always have the value of the Canadian dollar, the age of the rink, and the wealth of the owner in the back of our minds. It is a complete fact: we’re Edmonton, good and bad.

 

THE APOLOGY

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

I think it’s a huge step, but we’ll see in the coming days. Katz tells us his thought process and then perhaps gives us an idea about the next step. I keep wondering if the Oilers and the city will engage the fanbase ala the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who use community based fundraising on a large scale.

Could the Oilers and the city come up with a few ideas to help with the cost? How much would you pay to sit next to Gretzky while watching a Seahawks game? Personally, I’d plunk down enough coin to get my wife very upset in order to have lunch with Stu MacGregor.

Maybe that’s a silly idea, maybe it isn’t. However, the Katz letter gives us all an opportunity for a new start.

And once again to learn the freedom and power of forgiveness. I believe Daryl Katz will be shocked by the reaction.

So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh that gave me such a fright
But I will hold on with all of my might
Just promise me that we’ll be alright
The ghosts that we knew will flicker from you
And we’ll live a long life

  • paul wodehouse

    I don’t think anyone’s expecting Darryl Katz to walk the streets of Edmonton and hang with his team’s supporters, but hopefully this is the beginning of a somewhat more communicative Oilers’ owner.

    He apologized with a degree of humility, and tried to express his underlying motive. I’m a supporter, but the developments of the past few weeks have shaken the support. I think the reaction in the city and the region has hit home. I think this letter is a step in the right direction.

    He is very much invested in this team and in this city, that can’t be forgotten. Despite that considerable investment, Katz will have to commit more in order to help bridge the gap between his group and the city in order to get the arena deal done.

  • paul wodehouse

    …but what part of “that was wrong and I apologize” OR …”public communications is not in my nature…and [it’s a] personal shortcoming…” aren’t you buying Q…

    ok maybe do a credit check and a piss test but man o man i don’t think he’s defending anything here …he self depricates he asks for forgiveness and support in light of his apology and i’m good with it until he tries any of this crap again…i’m kinda sure he won’t have to make any more apologies either…if it wasn’t for this arsehole lockout I say the shovel’s in the ground before the snow flies …the joint’s built in two years and there’s Oiler hockey downtown by October 2014…

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Didn’t buy it. The guy is only interested in securing where his next hundred million (25 yrs at RX2) will come from.

      Zero risk and all the rewards is all he’s concerned about. His kids go to Harvard/Yale, and the rest of todays youth will probably go to Afghanistan.

  • paul wodehouse

    It’s a good start. Now if Katz would start showing the same attrition to City Hall and apologize to them for pulling a d-bag move last week, I’d be more optimistic. I can’t believe this so called “local” billionaire would pull the same classless tactics as Peter Puck. Because Pocklington’s intimidation first style of negotiation worked real well with Gainers and the Oilers right?

    Bottom line, if you make your way to Seattle for a football game, you can easily make your way across the street from your ivory tower and talk to City Hall. And Katz, whatever your next move is, don’t drag a hockey legend who was totally oblivous to your machinations into this. Shades of Peter Puck dragging Gretzky along for his PC Leadership nomination back in the 80s – totally classless.

  • Poolanov

    If the city and province are going to foot the entire bill, why dont they just build it themselves and charge Katz rent. Even if its a nominal fee like $1, at least they would profit from all other events and parking, concessions etc

  • Zamboni Driver

    Fine, apology accepted.

    But good lord….Lowetide, why would you or anyone be PRO-Katz?!

    He’s the OWNER!

    THE.

    OWNER.

    Staples said it right the other day. You put him on a pedestal. You were wrong to do that.

    Why in the world would you?

  • Zamboni Driver

    What Katz is really sorry about is people being so pissed at him. They basically told him to take his team and stick it. He completely misread what the reaction would be. I think the “other” little man needs some new deputies in his “group”. These ones are giving him bad advice.

  • beloch

    The simple truth is Katz wasn’t thinking of the fans when he pulled his Seattle stunt. He was aiming at City Council and didn’t realize the fans would be collateral damage. This is not a full defence, the trip was an act of unrivaled arrogance and stupidity.
    As a long time loyal fan and season ticket holder, I accept his apology and give him credit for realizing it had to be made. The problem is he also owes Council an apology and an adjustment downward in his demands, the first part of which will definitely not be forthcoming. I suspect senior NHL officals, possibly even Bettman have informed him that the team isn’t going anywhere and his crass behavior hasn’t exactly helped the image of the owners in the lockout PR battle.
    I applaud whoever leaked his unreasonable demands and it is time that Katz realized the city is not his personal ATM machine. The clock is ticking and we need the deal done. And by the way the provincial government, which has contributed exactly nothing to settling this, should give the guy his damned casino license, which should settle this.

    • beloch

      You really believe he didn’t think the fans would react at all?

      Katz: “So you know, we’re going to go to Seattle and see about moving the arena there.”

      Friend: “But what about the the thousands of people who’ve got season tickets? Tens of thousands who will see the games? Hundreds of thousands who own *Edmonton* Oilers gear?”

      Katz: “Who?”

      I don’t think that’s very plausible.

      And even if it were – and it isn’t – it would still look bad.

  • beloch

    You know what? I don’t think Katz is sorry at all. An outraged fan-based is exactly what he needed. First, stir up fear of losing the Oilers. Then, publicly apologize and watch all that pressure slide off of him and land firmly on city hall.

    Katz was honest about one thing “The Oilers need Edmonton”. In what other city in North America could the Oil sell out game after game with the fourth highest ticket prices and the worst performance in the NHL? The Phoenix Coyotes have a better chance of turning a profit in a new market than the Oilers would. Edmonton does not *need* the Oilers. Edmonton would be heart-broken without them, but the city would live on. Additionally, those unprofitable southern U.S. teams would line up to move into Rexall the minute the Oilers leave!

    Katz’ claims that the Oilers are struggling financially are completely bogus. Given the capacity of Rexall place and the sky-high prices (higher than both the Canucks and Flames!) it’s flat-out impossible for the Oilers to be unprofitable.

    City hall needs to wise up. They have Katz hanging by his toe-hairs. The Edmonton fan-base is a stable and bottomless gold-mine and city hall holds the mineral rights! Whatever percentage of the arena’s costs that the city pays should be the percentage of profits they receive. City’s should be run as businesses, not charities for the rich!

  • Zamboni Driver

    We will never know BlacqueJacque, but seeing that he has already done trips to Hamilton and Quebec City without major fan rage I believe he didn’t realize that the particular dynamics of the situation made his latest move like lighting a fan powder keg.

    We are near the climax of a final arena deal, with many fans worried about the result and many who have supported him mad at his recent unreasonable demands, plus the fans on edge about the lockout and feeling that they are finally about to see the impact of the young stars they have awaited so long, after buying every ticket while suffering through a series of very painful seasons.

    It makes sense that he was so focused on Council that he didn’t see the fan rage this would rightly provoke, which gives the city, not Katz, more leverage, despite his apology. He may be self absorbed enough to think his Seattle fiasco would direct fan anger at ity Council.

    At any rate I am glad he had enough sense to apologize and really want to get the damn deal done and the shovels in the ground so we can go bak to bitching about the lockout instead of Katz and the damn arena.

  • beloch

    What I really like about the letter is its sincerity. It rings like total heartfelt truth that in the midst of all the the self serving rhetoric being served by people like Mr.Bettman and Mr. Fehr, is certainly refreshing and welcome. I hope that Mayor Mandell and the City Council can also return to the table with a renewed determination to work out a deal for the long term good of our City. There is a solution where neither side should have to feel victimized. Throw the lawyers out of the room if you have to and talk this thing through until you find it.

  • beloch

    He hopes he can count on our support?????? We have been there for the last how many years supporting a bottom dweller cause we love the team. I hoped the loyalty was reciprocal yet at the drop of the hat he is visiting seattle. I know longer beleive the loyalty is reciprocal. I am really tired of the rhetoric, truthfully, though I have been a fanatic for the oilers up till now, I find the whole thing distastefull. I am tired of it all.

  • beloch

    Katz is acting Like a spouse getting caught attempting to cheat – in flagrante no less – and now trying to apologize and asking that not just forgiveness be granted but that the entire incident be forgotten.

    But such a sin of treachery – treason to the oiler fan base – the fan base that had gone all in to support a new arena deal – cannot easily be forgiven. And trust will never be as solid as it was prior to the Seattle debacle.

    Katz must pay a price for his sin against oilers nation and that price of atonement is agreeing to the deal that was before him just a couple of weeks ago.

    Sign the deal Mr. Katz. You are in no position to demand more from oilers nation than has already been given.

    And just think of how good the make up sex will be – when the new arena opens and the dough floods in from it and the surrounding real estate.

  • Something to think about

    City Council spends at least 22 million into a dieing event, The Indy…no public forum needed for that

    To spend any money on the a new arena (which will attract more events that are public friendly) and yes also help the one event that has put Edmonton on the North American map (THE OILERS)…a huge public forum on this

    City Council has too many ANTI-OILER people

    Just one persons point of view

    • beloch

      What does the Indy have to do with the Oilers?

      The Indy is also over, and council gave it a shot – that’s all.

      The arena deal is a long term commitment for a whole lot more money.

      Also, one bad deal doesn’t excuse another.

      LOL@”ANTI-OILER council”.