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Alberta premier pitched on Edmonton arena funding

Edmonton OilersAlberta Premier Ed Stelmach was briefed on the proposed Edmonton Oilers (NHL) arena and asked to provide $100 million in provincial funding; a decision should come sooner rather than later.

Stelmach is leaving office after his current term ends, and he’s pledged to help arrive at some sort of arena conclusion in Edmonton before then. That means deciding whether it’s appropriate to have the province help fund the arena and, if so, to what extent.

A meeting between Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel yesterday didn’t yield any solid commitments, but it did apparently lead to a path to funding via the provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative, used to fund infrastructure improvements. The city has already allocated its share from this fund, but their share could be increased by the province based on the arena funding.

There’s been a lot of work on the arena plans: the design has been changed in many ways to liven up the proposed entertainment district and minimize the impact on the neighborhood. For instance, a new pedestrian plaza linking the arena and City Hall will feature two-story buildings with balconies and plenty of open fireplaces; garbage collection was shifted to a building below grade to keep smells and sounds from the area.

RELATED STORIES: Tensions escalate over new Edmonton arena; Protesters object to Edmonton arena funding; Alberta: We’re open to some sort of Edmonton arena funding; Edmonton, Oilers reach agreement on framework of arena funding deal; Edmonton approves arena funding plan; Edmonton mayor lays out arena funding plan; Report: New arena needs 30-year commitment from Oilers; Complicating factor in Edmonton arena discussions: Northlands; Seat mortgages pitched for new Edmonton arena; City: New Edmonton arena would revitalize downtown; Oilers: No, we’re not moving to Quebec City; Oilers refine arena plan after public meetings; Katz ups arena offer to $200M; city willing to talk; Edmonton: New downtown arena financially feasible Katz: I will spend $100 million on new downtown arena; Edmonton: Cheaper to renovate than to build new downtown arena; Oilers arena zoning hearing delayed; Katz group submits arena application to Edmonton

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