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04-24-2013, 01:50 AM
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I apologize for the following wall of text.

TL;DR – Our loyalty as fans isn’t an issue. The economic realities of a market Edmonton’s size are.

It seems unbelievable that the Oilers could find a better fanbase than Edmonton but when there’s talk about the team moving, fan support is only one factor that DK and the NHL will look at before permitting relocation.

No one is questioning our loyalty. The reality is that you could put the Oilers in pretty much any other major Canadian market and the rink would sell out. Winnipeg is sold out for something like five years straight and I have to believe the same thing would happen in Hamilton or Quebec City or Toronto.

Edmonton is one of the smallest media markets in the league. With the possible exception of Winnipeg, every other Canadian franchise will charge more for things like rink boards and sponsorships. You can argue that Oilers fans are the most loyal fans in the NHL but we’re also one of the smallest fanbases in Canada. That means the Oilers receive less compensation for radio broadcast rights.

And because Northlands has its claws in Rexall Place, the Oilers only receive revenue for Oilers related events. When Justin Bieber or Beyonce come to town, the Oilers don’t see any of that revenue. That’s not the case in other buildings around the league. Same goes for parking and concession revenues. These are additional revenue streams that the Oilers don’t have access to.

The reason the NHL has been hesitant to move the Coyotes is the same reason it would allow the Oilers to move: an arena. Glendale partnered with an NHL owner to build a new arena and now the NHL feels it has a responsibility to do everything in its power to make the arrangement (as deeply flawed as it may be) work.

You don’t have to believe me. The NHL itself said that a franchise with no lease and no prospect of a modern facility is a prime candidate for relocation.

While the first priority would be to keep franchises in their existing markets, a relocation application may be considered if the franchise does not have a binding lease. Such an application involves the consideration of some 24 factors, as set forth in the NHL Constitution and By-Laws, and is subject to a majority vote of the Board of Governors. The prevailing rules emphasize current local market viability first and foremost. Franchises whose markets are not viable due to the absence of a state-of-the-art arena and a sustainable financial model for the franchise may be considered candidates for relocation, again assuming there is no binding lease obligation.

July 21, 2010 City Council Meeting
Item 5.4 – Sports and Entertainment Facility
Supplemental Questions from Mayor and Council Questions for the Katz Group

I’m a huge believer in this project, both for hockey fans and for Edmontonians as a group but even I’ve become weary of watching the team suck up and down the ice while watching this arena soap opera drag on for more than half-a-decade.

In 2013, a large percentage of stadiums and arenas get built with public dollars. You don’t have to like it but you need to accept the fact that the only way Edmonton gets a new arena is if taxpayers make a sizeable financial investment in the project.

If I haven’t bored you into a coma with my dissertation, you can read more about the reality of the situation here:

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