SEATTLE!

Seattle is one of my favorite cities. I’m not a world traveller or anything, but there’s a lot to enjoy in Seattle.

A couple of media people have hinted that the struggling arena deal may mean the Oilers bring another city (Seattle!) into the mix as a possibility.

Also, in an article called “Not a Card That Needs to be Played” Robin Brownlee writes the following:

  • Put me in the camp of people who’d rather see city council and Katz put pen to paper on an agreement that will get shovels in the ground before costs rise more than they already have in the months of back-and-forth we’ve had up until now – a deal that will include a location agreement that will keep the team here for the next 35 years.

I don’t think there’s much wiggle room here, folks. Mr. Katz is an empire builder and he wants what he wants. His hockey team is in a city that adores the copper and blue but does not have the riches to hand over more money every time the two sides meet.

I’m not going to say “to hell with him!” or “give him the money” but will say at this point council must step away and allow Mr. Katz to make his decision. Edmonton council bent over backwards–far beyond reasonable–and it isn’t enough.

That’s okay, things don’t always work out. The money that was going to the arena can now go to education, road improvement, inner city shelters, things that matter.

I’m not saying this won’t hurt; I am saying it isn’t the end of the world. Sons and daughters are more important than sticks and pucks and copper and blue.

Maybe that’s the lesson here.

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70 Responses to "SEATTLE!"

  1. mc79hockey says:

    I’m amused at the idea that Seattle’s a threat. “Oh noes! You’re going to move the team to a not particularly uber-wealthy city in which it would be the fifth most important professional team in town?”

    /wanking motion

  2. Cactus says:

    Given all the talk about financially underperforming teams and the need to claw back player salaries, what are the chances that the NHL would allow another move to a questionable market? If the NHL is willing to fight tooth and nail for the opportunity to lose money in Phoenix, it’s hard to see what leverage Katz actually has here.

    LT, it’s not about being fatalistic and walking away emotionally. It’s about being realistic and understanding that Katz would be much better off selling the team than to take the massive risk of relocation.

  3. russ99 says:

    I read the Katz letter. It’s understandable that there’s frustration in the delays to finalize, but we’re really at “blood out of a turnip” area here.

    Does Katz really expect the city to pony up time after time throughout construction? Or is there a bigger concern due to the lack of province funds that he’ll need to dig deep and eventually cover anyway?

    Loved the one last dig at Northlands/Rexall Place which seems a bit unnecessary, since all the big non-hockey events would surely go to the new arena than the old one.

    Seattle will be the carrot that Bettman will dangle to get what he wants with many troubled/potentially troubled franchises. But the Oilers don’t really fit the bill.

  4. Cactus says:

    russ99,

    As a follow-up to your Seattle point and other markets, the news from Phoenix is that if Glendale can’t renegotiate their deal with Jamison, they won’t be able to go through with the sale. The city simply can’t afford the rich deal they were offering.

    With Phoenix possibly on the move, as well as the Islanders if they can’t get a deal, there’s simply no sense in abandoning a great market like Edmonton. This is just negotiating, pure and simple.

  5. melancholyculkin says:

    mc79hockey,

    Yeah, Seattle’s not desperate for NHL hockey in any way shape or form. They just want a new arena so they can get an NBA team back.

  6. leadfarmer says:

    Seattle is a big city but not a very big sports city and other than football most people don’t care too much about sports. (Soccer became a niche sport there but most still don’t care too much). Considering that a basketball team moved away to a city with a quarter of the potential fanbase, selling hockey there is not as big of a slam dunk as people think. Good thing that Katz moved out to Vancouver cause if he moved the Oilers, he would be kicked out of town.

  7. striatic says:

    i don’t think the timing should suggest that Seattlemight scoop the Oilers, although if Katz were to move them anywhere I’m guessing Seattle would be his number one choice given that he lives on the coast and Vancouver already has a team.

    but i think that, as a Seattleite, the timing is more about referencing a city that lost its team because it failed to upgrade its arena.

    Seattle lost the Sonics in part because Key Arena was never replaced, despite being a solid basketball market

  8. sliderule says:

    Stauffer on his show was pulling out all the threats he could make.

    Claimed that oiler market is smaller than jets.Manitoba has a population of 1.2 million if we split ours withCalgary we have 1.7 million.He claimed Saskatchewan as jets area even as Saskatoon it’s largest City is only just over 300 miles from Edmonton and 550 miles from Winnipeg.

    I wonder if all the changes to Katz empire like banning drug company kickbacks have made him this desperate.Do we have Peter Puck the second?

  9. Southern Oil says:

    I must admit, I don’t have much to say on the arena since I live in Atlanta, GA and have not lived in Edmonton since ’88. I’d like to see it built for selfish reasons of course – so the Oilers are guaranteed to stay in the city for a long time (at the very least). But it’s not my money so I can’t really argue with people that don’t want to build it.

    I will say one thing – I wouldn’t put much stock into the NHL putting up a fight for this market. While they have for Pheonix, they certainly did nothing of the sort for Atlanta. Also do you see Bettman going up against Katz and coming away with the team still in place (if he really wanted to move it)?

  10. striatic says:

    people forget that there is a third party here, the contractors who will actually build the building.

    this could also about spooking them into lowering their take, thinking otherwise the project might evaporate.

    along with also trying to soak the city. either way it is to their benefit.

  11. striatic says:

    i don’t think the timing should suggest that Seattlemight scoop the Oilers, although if Katz were to move them anywhere I’m guessing Seattle would be his number one choice given that he lives on the coast and Vancouver already has a team.

    but i think that, as a Seattleite, the timing is more about referencing a city that lost its team because it failed to upgrade its arena.

    Seattle lost the Sonics in part because Key Arena was never replaced, despite being a solid basketball market.

  12. SinceTheWHADays says:

    The 50/50 at the last Eskie game was worth $108 000. So, in roughly 3 hrs 40 000 ppl managed to come up with close to 1/4 million $$. Will someone please explain to me why some kind of lottery can’t be created to come up with the cash shortfall for this project? Sure the Oil arn’t a charity, but niether is the Prov. Gov. and it makes millions off gambling. Simple….No???

  13. Ducey says:

    Van Diest has further convinced me that anyone “writing” for the Sun is an idiot.

    So Katz just spent $70 million on land acquisition, hundreds of thousands on design, most of the goodwill he had, and then he is just going to drop it all because Seattle might build an arena for another millionaire?

  14. Kris11 says:

    Katz: Hey guys. Guys. Let’s move the team from one of the better revenue cities in the whole league to Seattle.

    Sure, it’s highly likley that hockey will fail there. And sure, you can sell out your building every night in Edmonton even with crazy high ticket prices and a team that loses for over five years. And sure Edmonton taxpayers are willing to shell out lots of money for an arena.

    But look at how well the U.S expansion teams are doing in general. And Edmonton isn’t willing to shell out more money for the arena. Seattle is a great move. Maybe we can head to Phoenix after we fail in Seattle.

  15. maudite says:

    So we’re back to laforge running around whispering (off the ‘record’) about moving the team again….Jesus.

    You are either in the

    It’s the oilers, they will move them. We aren’t worthy of keeping them if we don’t take it as hard as they want to give it camp. If you are too stupid to agree, you are obviously a communist.

    or

    It’s the oilers, the market is a pretty solid one. It is a profitable franchise (ie there is not a lot of places you could move it aside from the GTA). I would like a new arena but there has to be some balance. We are not bent over a barrell here and shouldn’t be negotiating like we are. Especially when you factor in handing over all the concert revenue.

    Hopefully the local media does a bit better job investigating both sides of this debate this go round….Maybe this will take a few years and we can have an election. This would obviously be one of the major issues discussed during the campaign and we would likely see a lot of people voting based on their informed opinion on this issue….Oh wait nevermind.

    Never been to seattle proper. Love the airport though. Used to fly a lot down to work and if flight times were close, I’d try to fly through Seattle. Never seen another airport with even close when it comes to quality of restaraunts and such. They even have comfortable benches you could nap on. Always thought the airport police were going to come shut it down due to the fact that you didn’t mind being there.

  16. maudite says:

    Just because I haven’t said it in awhile,

    Thanks for giving me something to read everyday. Those last couple articles on Montreal were as good as it gets. If there is no hockey, my vote is going into crazy history storys. Stuff that we all should know about but has been seemingly whitewashed from our teachings. Suggested topics:

    William Walker and central america

    or a little closer to home

    the “continuous voyage” doctrine adapted by Canada to prevent the Komagata Maru from landing here back in our, much glossed over, intolerant days.

  17. Kris11 says:

    Never been to seattle proper. Love the airport though.

    That is my favorite airport. There are bigger airports and fancier airports, but if I had to live in any airport, I’d live in Seattle airport.

    Ironically, Katz moving to Seattle airport like in that Tom Hanks movie is about as likely as the Oilers moving to a Seattle arena.

  18. Kris11 says:

    I would like LT to start a twitter site that is very stream of consciousness, if there is no hockey season and focus on that instead of the blog,

    @LT: Damn kids are on my lawn again.

    @LT: How do you figure out which laundry detergent is the best value?

    etc.

  19. blackdog says:

    Well put LT

    According to Forbes, that is, an objective source, not Pat LaForge, the Oilers had the fifth highest profit in the league with no playoff revenue at all. Higher than every American club but the Rangers.

    If Katz is dumb enough to move the team from that good a market to a city where he would lose money then so be it.

    End of the drama once and for all. But I doubt it comes to that. Because he loves to make money.

  20. LoDog says:

    Who knows what is going to happen but speculating on Seattle is for people that like doom and gloom. Never going to happen but that won’t stop some people from pissing in their own cornflakes.

  21. Mr DeBakey says:

    That arena funding in Seattle is contingent on them getting a NBA franchise.
    At least that’s what I read somewhere.

    An NHL team would be welcome, of course.
    It’ll generate revenues 40 – 50 nights per year.

    It would be excellent for western teams’ travel if both Seattle & Portland had teams.

  22. Oil_or_Nothing says:

    At this point between the arena fiasco and the potential lockout I am really starting not to care what happens and this after being a fan for 30 years!
    I say the city should play hard ball! The fact is if Katz takes “his” team and leaves how long do you truly think before another billionaire moves a team to Edmonton and offers to build an arena? I would say not to long at all!
    Edmonton has proven it is a market where if you own a hockey team you can literally print your own money! I could see a team owner like Tom Gaglardi moving here in a minute if the Stars continue to lose money.
    Let Katz go if that is what he wants…

  23. Billy Boisey says:

    As a former Edmontonian living in Seattle, I have to say Seattle is the single most over-hyped NHL relo possibility out there. I’d take QC or GTA over it hands down. Any NHL team would be, at best, a solid number 5 behind the Hawks, M’s, Sonics, and yes, even the Sounders (the Sounders are a big, big deal here). Never mind competition from the Huskies, which are legitimate competition for the sporting dollar, and the fact that the arena deal pretty much dictates that Katz would have to sell to/partner with Chris Hansen to make a profit. Any use of Seattle as a threat is pretty hollow.

    At the end of the day, the odds of the Oil ever actually leaving Edm are as near to zero as is reasonably possible. The rabid nature of the fanbase dictates a fairly solid revenue stream, win or lose. But Katz chooses to play on the city’s insecurities that linger from the 90′s and early 00′s to try and extract as many concessions as he can, because he can. But it doesn’t mean he’s serious, unless he’s much less clever than I give him credit for being.

  24. regwald says:

    Katz is acting like a man who is either very greedy and self-centered like Pocklington or else he is acting like a man who is highly leveraged and has limited financial flexibility to foot a significant build cost for an arena without government help.

    It may be a little of both, but either way, continuing to open the cash register at his every whim is not a good plan and it is a bad sign. A really bad sign.

  25. Captain Obvious says:

    I’d like to reiterate that despite the lies told by some commentators in the previous thread that the current deal involves Katz getting an arena for free. That is a fact. Since free is apparently not good enough, now he wants the city to pay him for the privilege of hosting his hockey team in the arena the city builds.

    The existing offer was a bad deal for the city. The thought that the Oilers might want more is unthinkable.

  26. remlap says:

    Topics of discussion if there is an extended lockout:

    Music
    Food/Cooking
    OKC Barons

    In that order.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Late in the third period 2-2, Fajestad 2-2 against HV71. Klefbom has played 12:48, ranking him 6th among the defenders (there are 6).

  28. Lucinius says:

    The arena deal is pretty complicated and mostly for all the wrong reasons. There’s a lot of egos and back room politics involved. Part of the problem getting the arena greenlit was the fact the entire deal shut out a lot of the “friends” of the city council (in lieu, of course, for Katz’ friends).

    Its similar to why Park Paving has the contract with the city for the roads despite the fact they don’t know how to properly pave a road (which is why all our roads constantly need re-fucking-paving, drives me nuts considering I used to work on a road crew elsewhere and know how its supposed to be done); they’re cozy with the city council and the mayor.

    Never mind that the arena project is in a horrible location, primarily because of Mendel, from what I’ve heard from my buddy down at city hall (he’s a clerk), has a hard on for downtown revitalization, when there were a number of better, cheaper locations for the entire project (that would have allowed for much better access/parking, at that).

    The entire project is a boondoggle that encapsulates how utterly incompetent and out of touch the city council and mayor are.

    We need a new arena. Katz cannot afford to build it on his own (he can’t; he doesn’t have the liquid assets to do so, nor the ability to garner a loan at a low enough risk to his own holdings the make it worthwhile), which means most of the money has to come from the public sector.

    The city wanted guarantees that his ‘friends’ would actually build a lot of shit after the arena was built (and they came through, buying up a large number of rights to various plots, to at least signal their intent) thus giving the city and idea of how much money they could generate from the various tax schemes meant to pay for the cost of the arena over its lifetime (which would of netted the city a profit from all the papers and projections I’ve read).

    Unfortunately, since the arena was supposed to be in the process of being built by now and complete in time for the start of the 2014 season, and hasn’t even been finalized a lot of the rights are nearing the date of renewal (likely with no renewals coming).

    In the end; it needed to be already being built or shot down at least a year ago, but because of all the dicking around the worst case scenario is starting to become a reality; no new arena, at all. And Edmonton needs a new arena, one way or another “soon”.

    So much screwing around on this entire project it makes my head hurt, and pissed off all my contractor/construction worker friends who are stupefied by the sheer idiocy at play.

  29. Dalton says:

    Looks like it might be best if the deal is scrapped and the team is moved, from where I’m standing (Houston).

  30. vishcosity says:

    In flipping real estate, working over the seller is different than fisting the house painter. Katz needs good relationships with the fab four, he doesn’t need to care what city councillors think. In my mind he’d be a fool not to try and get the city to concede everything he possibly can and using Seattle or KC is an obvious threat that everyone should have expected.

    Games are fun. Buying used cars can be fun. Unfortunately usually only one of the two players is highly experienced. I’ve met a couple counsellors in years gone by, none would make me nervous going into negotiations. If you want salesmen for counsellors, then I would say vote for people who are a little less socially conscious and a little more shrewd.

    I’d say vote for snakes or bend over as the best may be yet to come. FWIW, here in Phoenix the locals are still really pissed. I would suggest y’all expect to receive something about the same because to me, no counsellor is going to want to be the one because of whom the team really does move. they will bend before they finalize any kind of hard deal.

  31. spoiler says:

    Is Craig MacTavish aware that Toby Peterson is presently on waivers?

  32. Captain Obvious says:

    Lucinius,

    While I’m sure some of what you say is true, the idea that the arena should be built outside of downtown is ludicrous. The only benefit to the city of building an arena is downtown revitalization. The arena itself provides no value. The downtown core is the only reason for their to be any public money at all.

    If you build an arena with public money anywhere else you might as well just light it on fire. It would be a huge betrayal of the public trust.

  33. Captain Obvious says:

    From copper and blue here is a good (and 100% accurate) summary of the current deal:

    “For those who might have forgotten the arena agreement framework includes $0 up front from the Katz Group. The entire $100M investment is actually a loan taken out by the City (another subsidy) that is paid back over 30 years by the Katz Group with revenues that are expected to be generated by the building. And there is also another $20M from the City that will be used for advertising whatever that means exactly. So if you’re keeping score at home, Katz pays nothing up front, gets $100M for $80M, gets all the revenue from the building, and pays back City’s loan, which has an lower interest rate than he would otherwise be able to receive, with revenue taken directly from the building. And despite all that he’s concerned about the operating profits. In other words, his free arena won’t make him enough money.”

    Everything in that paragraph is a matter of public record. These are the facts, just the facts.

  34. Dalton says:

    Right, I read somewhere recently that it’s well known that arenas are black holes for money; they contribute nothing to local commerce and all the revenue is whisked away to some lawyer’s pocket in New York.

  35. Dalton says:

    Hmm, the letter to city council has this text at the end:

    G:\Katz Group\Legal-EA\Arena – Edmonton\LT to Farbrother Sept 11,2012.docx

    “Arena – Edmonton”, eh? I wonder if they have another folder labeled “Arena – Seattle”!!

  36. LoDog says:

    Captain Obvious,

    Not 100% accurate at all. And leaves out little things like the ticket tax, paying all the interest, maintenance, putting in another 100 million for surrounding development etc etc.

    http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/projects_redevelopment/agreement-framework.aspx

  37. art vandelay says:

    I am heartened that die-hard Oilers fans are mature enough not to be held hostage by New Pocklington.

    That 35-year agreement to keep the team here wouldn’t be worth the paper it was written on.

  38. Moosemess says:

    Mandel said on the Team 1260 yesterday that he thought they’d put together a good deal that worked for both parties in NY, and the Katz Group has not stopped negotiating since.

    I can appreciate the argument that Katz and crew are probably much shrewder negotiators than the average city councillor and it’s well within realistic expectations for them to push their vested interest to the hilt on this, but there’s a case to be made as well that it’s Katz and company that are primarily holding this up and because of that, they should face the music for escalating construction costs.

    Great point earlier in the thread that the evolving CBA landscape could have Katz worried about longterm margins (along with $USD v $CAN), as you would think the Oil would certainly be one of the richer clubs paying out in a revenue share scenario.

    Can certainly see Katz amping the pressure on Tambi and co. to ice a more competitive team this season (whenver that is) with these external factors in play. No councillor wants to be associated with losing the Oil, but particularly so when they start to resemble Cup contenders.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    Enough already.

    Who is this Katz character? Nothing more than a glorified drug dealer(legal) who’s selling the Oilers like they’re the heart and soul or something, when in reality they’re little more than a glorified dog and pony show. No more than a diversion.

    Then you see idiots(NHL players) lining up like so many turds behind that weasel Fehr(only the man who single handedly fucked baseball forever), while the media frame it all like some kind of good guy bad guy scenario(vs the owners).

    To quote my philosophy lecturer(after he’d cut me off in traffic)… “BULL-SHIT”.

  40. leadfarmer says:

    And I’ m sure the City of Seattle will give him a monopoly on all large concert events with all profits going to him. Not to mention the priority over all sporting events.

  41. Dalton says:

    hunter1909: Who is this Katz character? Nothing more than a glorified drug dealer(legal) who’s selling the Oilers like they’re the heart and soul or something, when in reality they’re little more than a glorified dog and pony show. No more than a diversion.

    If you love Katz so much, why don’t you marry him?

  42. Ducey says:

    Captain Obvious,

    A $100 million mortgage is free?

    No money down doesn’t equal free.

  43. DSF says:

    There’s an awful lot of whistling past the graveyard going on here.

    Seattle, with a new, state of the art, 19,000 seat arena, will be a much more attractive market for Katz if the Edmonton downtown arena does not get built.

    From the City of Seattle press release:

    Executive Constantine and Mayor McGinn detailed important taxpayer protections within the agreements in a joint letter to their respective Councils:
     No new taxes are being sought for construction or operations;
     The project will be self-financed by using revenue that would not otherwise exist but for
    the operations of the arena;
     Binding non-relocation agreements for the NBA and NHL teams will be in place covering
    the full term of any public financing;
     A security reserve fund will be established to provide an additional layer of taxpayer
    protection for the duration of the public debt;
     Revenue sufficient to support annual debt service is guaranteed by the investors;
     The private investors will be solely responsible for any cost overruns and operating
    revenue shortfalls over the life of the facility, including funding a capitol improvement
    fund;
     No public funds will be committed until franchise acquisition and all environmental review
    and permitting processes are completed;
     The City and County will be in a first priority payment position from Arena revenues and
    in the unlikely event of a financial default, will have a security guarantee in the equity of the parent company for the teams and the Arena operator.
    “The commitment to invest upward of $800 million of private capital in the arena and purchase of two teams represents a strong vote of confidence in the future of our city and county, especially in this challenging economic climate. It is one of the largest commitments of private
    capital ever made for a project like this in North America,” the Executive and Mayor wrote in their joint letter about the agreements.

    Sounds like a reasonable and sane approach to me.

    What many of you are overlooking is that Seattle is a much bigger market than Edmonton with a much larger television audience and an exponentially larger corporate community to draw from.

    Metropolitan Seattle has a population of 3.5 million.
    Metropolitan Edmonton has a population of is 1.1 million

    Seattle is also “home” for a raft of very big corporations:

    Microsoft (investing in arena through Steve Ballmer)

    Nordstrom’s (family investing in arena)

    Starbucks

    Amazon

    Expedia

    msnbc

    Safeco

    Boeing

    Alaska Airlines

    Costco

    Nintendo

    T-Mobile

    Getty Images

    Real Networks

    Big Fish Games

    And those are just the big guys.

    They absolutely dwarf the potential corporate support available in Edmonton and, all else being equal, it’s the purchasers of luxury boxes and corporate sponsorships that make the NHL go round. (see Toronto)

    Seattle also has a long hockey history (and a cup win) and although it might take a little while to re-kindle the fan support in the city, despite what you have heard elsewhere Seattle is a great sports town.

    The only reason the Sonics left was there was no support for a new arena (sound familiar?) but fan support was great.

    The Sounders of the MSL have an average attendance of 43,000…the Edmonton Eskimos average attendance is 34,000.

    It’s also worth noting that thousands of Vancouver residents travel to Seattle to watch Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders games and having a natural rivalry with the Canucks would draw a lot of attention from NHL fans in Vancouver who can’t get in to see Canucks games.

    While it’s true that Katz wouldn’t have access to concert revenue, it’s also true that he would not have to pony up one cent to move the Oilers into Seattle’s new arena nor would he be responsible for arena maintenance or renovations as he would be for 35 years under his agreement with the City of Edmonton.

    I think what will happen here, if an agreement can’t be concluded in the next few months, Katz will quietly put the team up for sale and, if no one steps up to buy the team, he will look at relocation.

    Playing in a decrepit Rexall place is NOT an option for Katz or any other potential buyer.

  44. VOR says:

    For any of you who are interested here is a link to a paper by Matheson and Baade. Individually and as a team they have pretty much kicked the crap out of any economic argument arena proponents make.

    http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/MathesonBaade_FinancingSports.pdf

    Let me summarize – building a stadium or arena with public money doesn’t make sense financially. The interesting thing is that building these projects seems to make the host community happier. It is hard to know how to monetize that happiness….

    I think a lot of the division amongst those for and against the arena is actually a debate between those who place a high value on that increase in happiness and those that place a low value on it. By the way I happen to place a high value on that happiness

    As far as I can tell it is impossible to actually determine the monetary equivalence of that total increase in happiness. Thus, we can’t know if the arena makes sense or not as a public good and at what dollar value it stops making sense. Sadly, all the lunatic and bogus arguments, threats and ad hominem attacks don’t bring clarity to the issue.

  45. DSF says:

    VOR:
    For any of you who are interested here is a link to a paper by Matheson and Baade. Individually and as a team they have pretty much kicked the crap out of any economic argument arena proponents make.

    http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/MathesonBaade_FinancingSports.pdf

    Let me summarize – building a stadium or arena with public money doesn’t make sense financially. The interesting thing is that building these projects seems to make the host community happier. It is hard to know how to monetize that happiness….

    I think a lot of the division amongst those for and against the arena is actually a debate between those who place a high value on that increase in happiness and those that place a low value on it. By the way I happen to place a high value on that happiness

    As far as I can tell it is impossible to actually determine the monetary equivalence of that total increase in happiness. Thus, we can’t know if the arena makes sense or not as a public good and at what dollar value it stops making sense. Sadly, all the lunatic and bogus arguments, threats and ad hominem attacks don’t bring clarity to the issue.

    So, the only option is to not build an arena.

    Then what?

  46. PunjabiOil says:

    1. Seattle’s a lovely city. Hope they get an NHL team – just not the Oilers.

    2. The delay is on Katz. As one city councilor put it, this is changing an agreement in the 11th hour. It’s not fair to the city, it’s not fair to Mandel, and it’s not fair to the public. It’s also not the first time he’s done this – he changed his stance to indicate the 100M he pledged up front when buying the team was only for surrounding development.

    Selfish, selfish behavior by Katz.

    3. Katz seems like a guy who has a big ego. He forced Kevin Lowe to call a press conference back in 2009 to tell the public that Mac-T wasn’t going anywhere after a late season loss.

    Other indicators are from this article:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/daryl-katz-has-the-prescription-for-the-oilers/article4416729/

    He said he has invested more than any other local would, and more than owners elsewhere. He feels Edmontonians underappreciate the money he has spent, and has committed.

    Katz lives in Edmonton only several months a year, spending winters in California, and time in Vancouver. He presented a front of emotional detachment from the city and even the hockey team as he stoked the spectre of no arena, no Oilers.

    “Hockey is not philanthropy,” he said. “This is a business, capital is portable. I can invest in real estate in Vancouver, Toronto, anywhere.”

    4. Wasn’t a fan of the EIG. Katz doesn’t appear much different – only he has deeper pockets.

  47. Captain Obvious says:

    I, for one, would receive happiness from a new arena.

    I also agree that Katz does not owe us philanthropy. Building the arena should not result in him losing money.

    However, given that the Oilers are one of the most profitable franchise while playing in Rexall, the original proposal would have allowed him to print money from the arena while risking nothing. All he has to cover is the payments on the $100 million loan and the operating costs of the arena. That’s guaranteed profit. It isn’t philanthropy.

    What I’m suggesting is that if a business isn’t philanthropy then, likewise there is no reason for city council to act as a handout center for profitable businesses. So I’m not even opposed to some form of public funding. However, that would imply some form of partnership that makes the business feasible and which the city is not left to take on all of the risk. What benefits the city is to gain for this project are entirely speculative while the costs they are taking on are direct and tangible. By contrast the benefits to the Katz group are direct and immediate while the costs are all deferred. It is the definition of a bad deal.

  48. Professor Q says:

    I thought Katz gave up his ownership of Copps in order to seal the deal with the new arena plan in Edmonton (although really his purchase of it in the first place was also to “seal the deal”). So why would he want to go to Seattle if he gave up on another city already where he already had an arena?

  49. PunjabiOil says:

    The latest journal article indicates Katz is asking for a 6M/year operating costs subsidy. Effectively, that covers the annual payments that Katz is supposed to make on the 35 year loan.

    Given that Katz keeps all the revenues from the arena (including significant incremental revenues from Oilers games), there is no reason for him to ask for the subsidy.

    There’s an internet meme floating around – Scumbag Steve.

    Daryl Katz is Steve.

  50. Lucinius says:

    Katz is an asshole (at least, according to my father, who knows several people who’ve worked for him), and he has an ego. And both of these things are part of why there is no arena yet.

    In the end, however, one of two things is going to happen; there will be a downtown arena largely/entirely built from public funds, or there won’t be a new arena period.

    Those are the two options.

    I have always believed building the arena downtown was a dumb idea — especially where they want to put it downtown. There are numerous other places it makes more sense to put it, in terms of space, access and cost, but the city decided downtown revitalization was worth the negative aspects of the location.

    Which is fine, especially since it looked like, at least on paper, the revitalization would have been helped along by the arena being built given the intentions of a number of developers to build shit if the arena was built.

    Right there is the benefit to the city for bending over and spreading wide on the cost of the arena; large scale developments revitalizing the downtown and creating a boom in revenue. Most projections I’ve seen, with the inclusion of the tax schemes and such, showed the city would have gained more money from all of this than the likely 550-750 million the arena will likely end up costing (my numbers include the almost always present over-runs and likely increased cost of materials and labour from waiting even just this long) over the course of the new arena’s life span.

    That makes it a benefit to the city in terms of dollars, let along in quality of life/entertainment to the people.

    Katz isn’t the only one stalling the arena project; numerous city councilors are as well. Of course, most importantly holding up the arena was the 100 million they couldn’t find (likely because Mendel spent it on signs and balls).

    That, right there, is why the arena debate annoys me. People against the arena tend to argue that the city shouldn’t be wasting its money on it when it has far more important things to spend its limited resources on. Yet, our city has a long history of pissing away millions upon millions of dollars away on crap people neither want or need, or even make sense.

    People who claim the money should be instead put towards fixing the roads are neglecting the problem of how roads are fixed nowadays around here; patch work. They don’t fix them like they are supposed to (but they charge as if they were), which means even if you turned around and spent an additional 500-600 million on the roads, in less than a decade (and most likely in less than five years) those fixed roads would be in need of new work (instead of the 15-20 it should be).

    Personally? I’d throw the arena at the ass end of the town and lay some above ground tracks to cheaply run the LRT there (since there’s little in the way of the tracks, especially on the north end) and plenty of cheap space. My father says they should just throw it either at the city airport space, since they want to shut it down, or even on Northlands since there’s enough space there.

    The other problem is them wanting it to be more than just an arena, but a sports complex and crap like winter gardens. If I was the mayor I’d just say; ‘we’re building an arena, a brick, rectangular building that can fit 18,000-19,000 and calling it a day’.

    But hell, this is Edmonton; our city council hasn’t done anything intelligent or properly in decades from what little I can tell, but that’s a whole other rant.

  51. Captain Obvious says:

    Willis on the holdup:

    “What I didn’t expect was that the Oilers’ ownership would start demanding that long-term costs be defrayed even as they were asking the city to contribute more in the short-term. It’s such an audacious demand that even Edmonton’s mayor, Stephen Mandel – who has been a staunch supporter of the new arena – is expressing public doubts.”

  52. Lucinius says:

    So, to confirm, he’s an ass.

    I just want it over with, personally. The city should suck it up and pay for the arena (but no fancy crap like loans, defraying Katz’s costs, etc.) or kill it and tell Katz that if he wants a new arena to find private investors to pay for it.

    Just settle it.

  53. Lois Lowe says:

    I used to drive from Alberta to Seattle to watch Seahawks games and have always thought it is a vastly underrated sports city. The way David Stern and Clay Bennett schemed to get that team out of Seattle is gut wrenching. There’s a documentary called “Sonicsgate: Requiem For A Team” which is worth watching if you are interested in a fan’s perspective on sports, politics, and professional sports. If something similar happened to the Oilers I would walk away from the NHL forever.

  54. JohnnyRocket says:

    I’m not going to say “to hell with him!” or “give him the money” but will say at this point council must step away and allow Mr. Katz to make his decision. Edmonton council bent over backwards–far beyond reasonable–and it isn’t enough.
    That’s okay, things don’t always work out. The money that was going to the arena can now go to education, road improvement, inner city shelters, things that matter.
    I’m not saying this won’t hurt; I am saying it isn’t the end of the world. Sons and daughters are more important than sticks and pucks and copper and blue.
    Maybe that’s the lesson here.

    Bless you, LT. Saner words have not been written about the arena deal. Being a school teacher and recently having my first child has really brought this point home to me. I love hockey. I love the Oilers. I love my city more.
    And I want it to be the same wonderful place 10, 20,30 years from now. Our city is already great. It doesn’t need a tax-funded arena to be world class (whatever that means).

  55. thurmtim says:

    On another topic… the lockout is upon us. Out of curiosity, when you look at the poorest 8 teams by revenus, how much more( or less) will they lose per game missed compared toactually playing the season? If support staff is not paid during the lockout there is a reduction iin overhead, and if players aren’t paid and there is no travel, variable costs are shrunkenm. WHat would be each teams indifference point in this scenario? It could be a direct factor in how long the owners hold out…

    Just wondering if anyone has run these numbers around here…

  56. unca miltie says:

    I have been an oil fan since day one in wha. I have seen games in maple leaf gardens, the forum in Montreal and jack’s fabulous forum in la and more rinks around North America. I grew up watching brewer and Keon , loved the broad street bullies and of course the oil. I am fed up, first the lock out again and now Katz apparently wants more money on the arena deal. These clowns might have a hard time getting me to part with any money when the finally get back to playing . Just spent my mini pack money to watch McCartney in Vancouver. Not sure what comes next. Will they all kill the golden goose?

  57. godot10 says:

    I supported public money for the arena. I supported the original deal. I would even support a modest inflation in the cost of the arena up to $500 million dollars.

    But hell no to operating subsidies.

    Katz is being given a new building for 25 cents on the dollars, where he gets to pay his share over 35 years on a below market loan from the city.

  58. vishcosity says:

    Just over here wondering about “the Oilers need a new arena.” I don’t remember hearing that it broke. Last spring we went to a WHL game and it seemed to work pretty well. The lady says the toilets flushed and everything. I thought they remodelled the dressing rooms a few years ago.

    Northlands was good enough for Wayne, they were even able to win there sometimes. it seemed to be good enough for World Juniors. I think it was even once good enough for the Canada Cup. So what changed?

    Any structural engineers here? Does modern concrete start to fail after 30 years? I remember once in the middle east we sat in an amphitheatre that was about 3000 years old. Clearly it could have used a bit of freshening up, but really, the sound was still pretty good. My aging father in law broke his neck and so we are staying with him. This place hasn’t been remodelled since about 1972. I am starting to wonder if we need a new home even though it seems to still work fine. I’ll ask him about it, maybe he knows.

    If the Oilers keep playing at Northlands, does something bad happen?

  59. jp says:

    maudite:
    Just because I haven’t said it in awhile,

    Thanks for giving me something to read everyday.Those last couple articles on Montreal were as good as it gets.If there is no hockey, my vote is going into crazy history storys.

    Yeah, the history lessons are much appreciated – I’ll definitely keep tuning in.

    Lowetide:
    Late in the third period 2-2, Fajestad 2-2 against HV71. Klefbom has played 12:48, ranking him 6th among the defenders (there are 6).

    But current Oilers-related news, even if bad, is still my first choice. Good thing he’s not your feature player again this year.

  60. oilswell says:

    So the Sonics left a good market in Seattle in part because they couldn’t reach a deal on a new arena? And now they’re scrambling to build one with more public money so they can lure a team back? It’s almost like logic has little to do with these arena deal things

    Not relevant to the Oilers though.

  61. gogliano says:

    I’m not sure Seattle would outdraw Victoria, B.C. if both were to get a team.

  62. Captain Obvious says:

    oilswell,

    What’s relevant is that the arena they are building to lure an NBA team back is a much, much, better deal for the city. Basically, the cost for Seattle to lure a team they don’t have is half of what Edmonton was going to pay to keep the Oilers. Seattle cut themselves a good deal, at least comparatively speaking.

  63. jfry says:

    Funny to watch fans bitch about an arena. The NHL has grown in recent years on the backs of Edmonton and Calgary fans getting totally fucked over at the ticket wicket and the concession stands.

    Yet, everyone wants a new arena which is going to make everything more expensive. The stadium argument seems to be about status as a “real” city, in some areas.

    Katz is taking advantage of our consumerist nature. I’d guess that ppl who are pro arena also are looking forward to the new iPhone and their “free” three year contract.

    If you like hockey at it’s current cost, you should be against a new arena. The current one is fine, just like wem is fine, the leg is fine and commonwealth is fine. Half a billion could do a lot of good. For instance, we could raise civic politician salaries so that we actualy get the best applicants. There is no one on council with familiarity on negotiations like these because the private sector pays more and gets more qualified people.

    Everyone argues when there’s a raise at city council but we seem like we’re in a vacuum when we talk about hockey. Based on personel and the size of the budget, this project is going about as it should be expected.

    As a metaphor, the average city council person would be hard pressed to play in the echl. We’re not talking about pros here.

    I for one think the current stadium is fine.

  64. Dalton says:

    It’s funny how a city can support an NHL team for 30 years and then one day wake up and be deemed incapable of supporting an NHL team without tearing down their entire downtown area.

  65. maudite says:

    The best part about Rexall:

    Until the fix was in and the plans to get a new arena started creeping into the picture, night in, night out, you’d hear the sportscasters mention how we have the best ice in the league….

    Now, it’s some of the worst ice…Mentioned over and over again. I know equipment degrades but I find it funny that this is often used in pro arena banter as another key point.

  66. maudite says:

    Coincidentally, the ambient temperature in the building is a good 5C warmer than it used to be. I don’t remember many nights when I used to go in there that people were rocking just a tshirt.

  67. jfry says:

    @maudite

    in the hey day, everyone used to have a lucky sweater they wore to the games. my dad’s was green and he’s convinced it’s the reason we have 5 cups.

  68. Bushed says:

    Agree with you, LT.

    In addition, I’m more than tired of being screwed over by big banking, big insurance, big government, big utilities, etc, all of whom seem to have decided that they can just stick it to Joe Q Public in small or not-so-small increments, to reap record income for themselves. They’re not philanthropists? Really? Sure not news to me.

    I debated renewing my season’s tickets this summer. This seals it for me–if the Oil move, the NHL will not see another penny from me, and neither will Rexall or anything remotely connected to Katz .

    I can easily spend my (few remaining) dollars elsewhere.

  69. Oil On Whyte's Weekend Link Extravaganza - Oil On Whyte - An Edmonton Oilers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More says:

    [...] Lowetide – Seattle!:  Talks of a new arena deal are trudging slowly over wet sand.  Now, we start hearing about Seattle as a possible NHL destination.  Coincidence? [...]

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