Oilers reach agreement with city on arena, slated to open in fall of 2016

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The Edmonton Oilers are going to get their arena.

On Tuesday the organization announced that after a final meeting with the city of Edmonton, the project to build Rogers Place -- with its oil drop design -- in downtown has been given the clearence. Construction will begin next month and the arena should be completed by the fall of 2016 to officially take over as the host of the Oilers.

"This is an exciting day for Edmonton as we move ahead with a project that will help realize our vision of a more vibrant downtown and ensures that the Edmonton Oilers remain a vital part of our city for years to come," said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. "The look of Rogers Place is bold and forward-looking, just like Edmonton. As part of our downtown vision, it will serve as a symbol of our city’s great future."

This is a longtime dream come true for owner Darryl Katz.

"For the Katz Group and the Edmonton Oilers, we have always believed Edmonton's need for a new arena was a huge opportunity to help transform our downtown into the vibrant, diverse and dynamic community that is the hallmark of every great city," Katz said. "We couldn't be more excited to see that vision becoming a reality and I want to thank Mayor Iveson, City Council, former Mayor Stephen Mandel, and the entire team at the City and everyone else who has laboured over this project for years for their tenacity and faith in this project."

The long and sometimes contentious negotiations for an arena to replace Rexall Place had one sticking point through it all and that of course involved money. More specifically not only who would pay how much for the new arena but who could cover cost overruns as well. That has all been sorted out.

The arena itself is slated to cost $480 million and a total project that will include other aspects is priced at $606.5 million, all part of helping to revitalize downtown Edmonton. With a Guaranteed Maximum Price agreement, any overruns will be covered by the construction company, not the city or the team.

So much for that threat relocation.

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