Funding for Edmonton arena approved

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

The city of Edmonton and the Oilers have agreed on funding for a new arena. (Oilers)
The city of Edmonton and the Oilers have agreed on funding for a new arena. (Oilers)

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The city of Edmonton and the Oilers have agreed on the final piece of funding that was needed for a new arena that is scheduled to open for the start of the 2016-17 season.

Edmonton's city council and the team agreed to split the remaining money that was standing in the way of finalizing the project. The city council passed the agreement with a vote of 10-3 on Wednesday.

Groundbreaking on the new building is scheduled to take place in 2014.

"This is a great day for Edmonton," Oilers owner Daryl Katz said in a statement released by the team. "It's been a long road for everyone involved, but the result is a landmark agreement that will drive investment in our city, help revitalize the downtown core and put the Oilers right in the heart of our community where they belong. I want to thank Mayor Mandel, City Administration and Members of Council for the extraordinary time and effort they have given to get this project over the goal line, and the Capital Region Board and the people of Edmonton for their support."

The entire project will have an estimated cost of nearly $600 million million and be split up as follows, via the Oilers:

-- $279 million from Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) and other incremental revenues (increased parking revenue, reallocation of existing subsidy paid to Northlands and new taxes from business in the arena)
-- $125 million from ticket surcharge on all events in the new arena
-- $137.81 million from lease revenue for the Arena
-- $23.68 million in cash from EAC
-- $25 million from other government sources

“This is an outstanding day for Edmonton's downtown and our city. This project is without a doubt the most significant investment that we have made in our downtown in the last decade,” Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel said. “This building will become a beacon in our downtown and will foster a new sense of energy that will spark further development and investment in the heart of our city.”

The Oilers play in Rexall Place, which is the third-oldest building in the league, behind only Madison Square Garden (New York Rangers) and Nassau Coliseum (New York Islanders). The Islanders will soon be moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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