Edmonton rejects Oiler [Arena] bid for more taxpayer dollars
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09-18-2012, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Originally Posted by
Because Edmonton doesn't have enough private interest to generate the money needed and has to rely on public funding. They don't have enough private funding because all the big corporations moved to Calgary over the last 20 years and it has been widely documented that the government and ultimately the citizens were the ones who ran those homegrown millionaires out of town! This is a city that is "still" unwilling to remove the giant unsightly airport in the middle of primo real estate that not only services less than something ridiculous like 5000 people a year, but also causes incredible limitations on building heights and zoning. One just has to google earth Edmonton and you can't miss it.
This is a city that just got their first corporate skyscraper in something like 20 years. Edmonton has shunted soooo many corporations and caused so much bad blood between them. And then this billionaire homegrown Oiler fan buys the team, and says "I got a great plan that will kick-start a new revitalization plan downtown, help bring in corporate investment, and ensure the viability of the Oilers for decades to come."
Well, unfortunately because of the very same people ran those other millionaires 3 hours south, there just isn't enough millionaires left to invest private funding into an arena/development project that this city desperately needs. And these are the very same people doing the exact same thing they did 10, 20, 30 years ago that caused this problem in the first place.
And you know what? It will happen again. Katz will be run out of town and his plan to jump start Edmonton into the 21st century will be shut down time and time again. You can see it with how people are overreacting to the new request due to costs going up. You know why they're going to go up? Because when this damn plan was introduced construction costs were at an all time low! This was also at the height of the recession which would have also brought in countless jobs for locals. But now because of the delay tactics and the vocal majority who split their time between bashing Katz and his arena and defending the useless city center airport, the construction costs have risen and will continue to do so. If IF this damn arena gets built the corners that will have to be cut to ensure it gets built will leave it looking like a square concrete block just like every other building in Edmonton.
Besides the small and confined area of progressive youth around Whyte Ave and the UofA, the city is incredibly conservative when it comes to any spending whatsoever. Any mention of beautification, revitalization, and even the LRT (Which took
years to finally be expanded) has the tax payer up in arms.
So that's why there's no corporate funding. Because there are no corporations left. They're all in Calgary.
Yes, after all, Edmonton doesn't have Winnipeg money...
The contention that the Oilers franchise could leave Edmonton is ridiculous no matter how you look at it. The team is Top 10 in revenue, there's a season ticket waiting list of thousands, every game's a sell-out. Katz is just extorting the city for as much as he can get. Maybe he should go to the BoG and get pre-approval on relocation if he really wants to make his point. I'm sure approval would be a mere formality - I mean, it's not like the Oilers have the rich hockey tradition and rabid fanbase of, say, Glendale, AZ...
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