Edmonton rejects Oiler [Arena] bid for more taxpayer dollars
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09-20-2012, 01:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
I'm not sure where I stand all this because we're not privy to enough information about all the specific financial details of the deal.
Northlands is a dump, and absolutely needs to be replaced with a newer arena. Edmonton downtown as it stands right now is also nowhere near as attractive a place as it should be at this stage given the strong economy, and no I don't mean aesthetically. In terms of corporate investment, shopping, restaurants, bars, infrastructure, it's not even close to what it could be. The idea of the downtown arena and district are good ones; they'll bring the biggest unifying cultural element of edmonton to a new area in the heart of the city and revitalize an area that right now is one of the worst in the city.
That said; I don't get why Katz needs the city to fund the building. He's essentially proposing a large real estate venture - yes it benefits the city but it firsts benefits him as a business. Isn't this the way the capital market works? If the city is going to fund the vast majority of the project, then perhaps the Oilers should rent the building as a tenant, and Katz should be included as a minority shareholder to whatever % he pays? I don't know **** all about economics so maybe I'm out to lunch but something like that would mean he'd still make profits off whatever part of the business he owns, right?
The oilers are the heart of the city and under no circumstances should they be allowed to move. But IDK if I see the merit in building a beautiful new arena with taxpayer money and then having 100% of the profit go to Katz, in a situation where he wouldn't even be paying property taxes?
Smackdaddy is absolutely right about Edmonton though; the hesitation to improve has really hurt this city. The LRT, the municipal airport, and now the arena district are definitely things the public itself was hugely resistant of changing, but ultimately its the public that suffers from the cultural stagnation of the city.
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