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Edmonton poised to approve Oilers arena deal

Edmonton OilersThe Edmonton City Council could pass a proposed Edmonton Oilers (NHL) downtown arena deal this morning after hearing final testimony on the issue yesterday.

The testimony split along familiar lines: local businesses saying investment in the downtown core would be beneficial to all, with some citizens opposed to any public spending on a sporting facility.

The funding plan under consideration is the one basically in play for more than a year now. 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.

One issue that resolved: the future of Rexall Place and Northlands. The city agreed to a noncompete with the new arena, paving the way for the most lucrative touring acts to be routed to the new downtown arena.

If approved by the City Council today, the city would move ahead with a final contract with Oilers owner Daryl Katz and work on securing provincial funding.

RELATED STORIES: Edmonton on verge of arena deal?; Oilers prep Plan B for new Edmonton arena; Alberta premier pitched on Edmonton arena funding; 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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