Saturday, October 01, 2011

Scamming Cities #2

You are probably wondering what is happening with the Edmonton Oilers since we last reported in August.
Will beleaguered owner Daryl Katz be able to save the franchise for the City of Champions?

Well he’s working on it but the clock is running –his clock anyway - as he has given the City until Halloween to approve his plan.
Even after two and a half years of discussion, as the Edmonton Journal reported last week, council might have to vote on the deal before all the details are worked out. Incroyable!!

The new rink will cost $450 million. The Katz Group will come up with $100 million, $125 million will come from a ticket tax, and $125 million will come from the city through a levy and “other reassigned funds.”

In addition, if the arena deal goes ahead, the city would probably also need to budget between $57 million and $72 million to buy the land and build an LRT station and a pedestrian bridge, the Journal reports.
The two details not yet worked out:

#A gap in the funding of $100 million.
#The fact that Northlands who own the rink where the Oilers now play has yet to agree to not compete with Katz’s new subsidized facility.
Today the Alberta Conservatives choose a new leader. That individual will have a lot to say on the $100 million gap although some local pols claim it is a done deal.
On the non compete aspect of the deal I can offer now advice. Unfortunately, I believe, well known non-compete experts David Radler and Conrad Black will not be available to provide their wise counsel.
Northlands runs about 2,500 events each year. Going back to 1879 it was created for the purpose of “bringing together farmers and agriculturalists.” It has, what it calls, a ‘time honoured tradition of dedication to community service.” Over time Northlands’ focus has broadened so that they now work with partners” to attract and produce world class events.” But its facility (Rexall place) needs $200 – 250 million in retrofits.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation chimed in yesterday calling the idea of the Oilers leaving “an empty threat.” A media release said:

"We know that Edmonton is one of the best markets in the whole NHL right now to have a team. Their claim of making this big investment and they're willing to stay here, is all worth nothing and is just a bunch of spin to make people scared that they might pull out and run away. That's not going to happen."

Have you seen this picture before?
I’ll take some inspiration from Oliver Hardy – just “another fine mess.”

1 comment:

JimmESmith said...

To paraphrase a bumper sticker I used to see a lot of when I lived in Calgary "Let the Damn Northlanders freeze playing in the dark!"