Tag Archives: downtown arena

Downtown arena explained

This is Edmonton’s downtown now:

And this Edmonton’s downtown when the Oilers get a new arena built largely with public funds:

Any questions?

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With the latest vote on the downtown arena pushing the project ahead on its “$450-million” budget I thought I would simplify the reason this project – and absolutely nothing else in the world that you could spend half-a-billion dollars on – holds the key to Edmonton’s downtown.

(Please ignore the absolute commercial and residential rise of 104 Street, the new office and residential buildings at 109 Street, expanding LRT lines, the slow improvements to east Jasper – the neighbourhood to be known as The Quarters – new condo towers and businesses on west Jasper, the city’s booming food truck scene, Capital Boulevard, and MacEwan University moving all of its campuses downtown.)

 

I’m getting a sinking feeling

I don’t know if I can connect the dots, but I think this story about a tough budget ahead for Edmonton City Council, this one about how more money is needed to fund LRT expansion (or else see it shelved, again), and the downtown arena’s already rising costs might be connected.

I’m probably just making up connections that aren’t there, as I’m terrible at math and there’s no way building a half-billion dollar arena could have an impact on the City budget. Just some Friday paranoia, I guess.

How are the Oilers going to play in that?

Arena Good. Deal Bad.

I fired off a letter to City Council before today’s public hearing on the downtown arena framework (in which the owner of the Oilers puts up nothing and the City pays for everything up front) and I think this more detailed letter from Scott Hennig, of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, makes my point even better.

Arenas are great, downtown revitalization is needed, the current deal doesn’t make a lot of sense for current or future taxpayers in Edmonton, and really ties up a lot of the City’s plans on one project.

Downtown Arena Public Hearing

I’ve got to work Tuesday, so if you want to register to speak can you ask City Council a question for me:

Since I’m putting in nothing to help expand Edmonton’s LRT system, and paying the Edmonton Transit System a little bit of money through monthly passes, can I have all ETS revenue?

Heck, I’d settle for 20%.

Alright, I know Daryl Katz will eventually pay back more than $85/month, so I’ll accept free ridership instead of revenues. That’s how Edmonton works now, right?

If I don’t get this, I’m going to take my transit riding to Hamilton or Kansas City.