Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 04/11/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
EDMONTON -- Even though the money is not all in place, Edmonton city council gave approval Wednesday to a deal that would see a new downtown arena built for the NHL's Edmonton Oilers.
Councillors voted 10-3 in favour of the master agreement with Oilers owner Darryl Katz. The pact would see the Oilers stay in the city for the next 35 years.
Councillors also voted by a smaller margin in favour of leveraging $45 million from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative -- a provincial fund that provides grant money for infrastructure -- to make up for part of a $100 million shortfall in funding for the project.
However, the city said it will only borrow the money if the province confirms it will provide the remaining $55 million. All parties would have until Sept. 1 to finalize the funding arrangement or the deal could still fall apart.
"Council took a courageous step forward today," said Mayor Stephen Mandel. "We've also made it clear that we will not move forward until we have the balance of the funds needed from the province."
Premier Alison Redford was in Washington and could not immediately be reached for comment but has said repeatedly in recent months that there will be no direct provincial funding for the arena project.
The total cost of the project including a community rink, garden and transit link is now estimated at $604 million -- $408 million of that is for the arena itself.
The cost would be paid for by the city, a ticket tax and the federal government, with the city hoping the province would also chip in. Katz has committed to paying $143 million.
Coun. Tony Caterina expressed concerns that using MSI funding for the arena would mean other infrastructure projects would suffer.
"There is a tradeoff here," Caterina said.
Coun. Kim Krushell said there were other funding options to address the remaining $55 million if the city does move forward with borrowing $45 million from MSI funding, however those options were not discussed in public.
City manager Simon Farbrother said that the Katz Group had been asked a day after the provincial budget was released whether they could put up the missing $100 million, and the reply was no.
John Karvellas with the Katz Group said "it remains a very complex deal" but he believes everything can be approved and signed by the end of the month.
"I'm confident that with hard work and goodwill, we will be able to sign, seal and deliver everything by the end of April," Karvellas said.
Coun. Kerry Diotte voted against the deal, calling it "way offside."
He described it as a public-private partnership that's weighted far too much on the backs of taxpayers.
Construction would be expected to begin by spring 2014, with the arena opening in the fall of 2016.
DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars have recalled goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp from their American Hockey League affiliate a day after starter Kari Lehtonen left a game with a lower-body injury.
The move Wednesday means Nilstorp will back up Richard Bachman, who didn't allow a goal after replacing Lehtonen in Tuesday's 5-1 win over Los Angeles.
Lehtonen, who missed five games earlier in the season with a groin injury, is listed as day to day.
-- from the news services
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 11, 2013 D8
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Thin CBJ get thinner, lose Letestu, Wisniewski
Smith leads Predators past Oilers 4-1
Gaudreau builds case to stay with Flames
Red Wings rally to beat Capitals 4-2 win
Ex-Islanders co-owner may try to withdraw plea
Leafs seek blueprint from blowout of Sabres
Nolan's patience runs out with lethargic Sabres
Hockey great Gordie Howe resting after stroke
Hockey community pulling for Howe to recover
Net gain: Lundqvist repped by Federer's agency
Miller, Canucks down Hurricanes 4-1
Niemi has 31 saves as Sharks top Avalanche, 3-2
Tarasenko's goal in OT lifts Blues over Stars 4-3
Gibson leads Ducks past Blackhawks 1-0
Kucherov has hat trick, Lightning beat Coyotes 7-3
MacArthur powers Senators past Blue Jackets 5-2
Leafs beat Sabres, tie shots-against record
Wild rally for 4-3 win at Boston
Flyers end Kings' 6-game winning streak
Malkin and Crosby lift Penguins to 8-3 rout
Ladd's 2 goals lift Jets over Islanders 4-3
Referee takes puck to face
Bruins wear "Frozen" costumes for hospital visit
Hurricanes activate captain Eric Staal from IR
Owner of hockey teams to be sentenced on Dec. 12
Gorges' no to Leafs has domino effect
Predators place Clune on waivers, activate Cullen
CBJ goalie to miss 1-2 weeks with broken finger
Rangers score 5 in 3rd, rally to beat Wild 5-4
Rangers' Kreider, Moore ejected from game vs Wild
Sharks F John Scott suspended 2 games
CBJ put Calvert on injured list, recall Wennberg
Penguins Olli Maatta to undergo thyroid surgery
Carter, Scrivens and Nielsen earn NHL honours
Ex-NHLer Malarchuk coming to café on book tour
Vancouver Canucks down Washington Capitals 4-2
Sharks end skid in fight-filled 4-1 win over Ducks