By a surprisingly wide 10-3 margin, the Edmonton City Council voted to move forward on a plan for a new $450-million Edmonton Oilers (NHL) arena, directing city staff to work out an agreement with the team.
The funding plan was slightly tweaked before it was approved this afternoon. The base agreement remained the same. The Oilers would pick up $100 million of the $450 million price tag; in addition, $125 million would come from a ticket tax, and $125 million from increased property taxes in the downtown arena area. The final $100 million would be sought from the provincial government. The Oilers would pick up operational and management costs, as well as fund all capital improvements. In addition, the city would pay for at least $100 million in infrastructure improvements, including a new light-rail stop.
Added to the plan: The Oilers will be investing $30 million in development near the arena. While this is short of the $100 million promised by Daryl Katz at one point in negotiations, it’s a major concession by the team.
Next up: the city and the Oilers will work out a detailed agreement, while city officials work to pry $100 milion from provincial coffers. That should prove to be an interesting challenge.
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