For better or worse, Edmonton City Council has voted in a private meeting 8-5 in favour of an agreement in principle to build a downtown arena with the Katz Group. Regardless of strong arguments against the City’s involvement in the project, it became clear long ago that the political powers that be wanted this deal to happen. It was inevitable.
From the Edmonton Journal:
The deal, approved by an 8-5 council vote following an hours-long meeting behind closed doors, closely follows a 17-part motion passed in April that laid out what the city wants to see happen.The maximum construction cost will be $450 million. That will be covered by $100 million cash from Oilers owner Daryl Katz, $125 million from a ticket fee and $125 million from tax on surrounding development and other city funds.
The two sides will jointly work on a design.
The provincial and federal governments will be asked to put in the remaining $100 million.
I am a big supporter of Edmonton’s urban core and have written a few blog posts explaining some critical questions about our City’s future that have been largely skipped or ignored in this debate: