Edmonton Oilers Arena Debate Has Hit A Stalemate

By Dan Lizee
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

In the latest talks between the Edmonton Oilers’ Katz Group and the City Of Edmonton, it seems that the details of the arena debate have come to a crossroads. Lots of bickering and pointing of fingers but little in terms of actual movement on the debate itself. Each side has taken a stance of trying to pawn of some of the cost on the other side. The sides cannot agree on where the costs should be split up and then again there is that issue of where that mysterious $100 million is still coming from, likely the biggest hurdle in all of this. In the latest news, city council has voted 13-0 to cease negotiations with the Katz Group for the time being.

Stephen Mayor in his time as mayor, has shown to be a frugal man. He does not throw money around like many politicians are apt to do. One thing is for certain, he will make sure the people of Edmonton don’t get ripped off in this deal, but it is likely the same reason why things have failed to proceed. I can understand the frusteration from council’s side as there doesn’t seem to be enough money to go around and trying to pluck it from a money tree just hasn’t worked out thus far.

Daryl Katz has run out of patience and its starting to show. However, you can’t really blame the man. This negotiation has been a 2-year ordeal to this point, and they are no closer to putting a shovel into the ground as we were back then. Katz’s patience has never been a strong suit of his, and I’m surprised he’s played ball for as long as he has. The cracks are starting to show and now we are no closer to an agreement.

All in all, I believe both sides need a time out from each other as talks between the sides breakdown. The good news from all of this is that the negotiations have finally hit the “monkeys flinging dung” stage, something that likely should have happened a long time ago. Both sides seem serious about getting a deal done. Now, its time for looking for answers instead of more questions. Perhaps a public referendum is an order to see if the paying public is willing to pony up more dollars towards the arena? After all, they are the ones that this whole ordeal will be affecting.

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