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Edmonton city council approves new arena deal

Wednesday, 01.23.2013 / 4:53 PM / News

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Edmonton city council approves new arena deal
Edmonton's city council approved a deal Wednesday that will allow for construction of a new arena that is expected to open in 2016 and keep the Oilers in the city for the next 35 years.

Edmonton city councilors voted Wednesday to accept a cost-shared deal with the Edmonton Oilers to build a new hockey arena for the team.

The hope is that construction on the downtown arena would begin by the end of this summer and it would be complete by 2016.

"This is a milestone agreement for a world class facility that will drive the ongoing revitalization of downtown Edmonton," Daryl Katz, Chair of the Katz Group, said in a statement. "It also helps to ensure the Oilers' long-term sustainability in Edmonton. This has been a challenging process for all concerned but we are confident we will all look back on the end result with pride and satisfaction at what we have achieved. I want to thank City Council and City Administration for their work on this file. This is a great day for Edmonton and we are excited to get to work on realizing this incredible opportunity."

The money for the $480 million rink will come from Oilers owner Daryl Katz, taxpayers and a ticket tax. Surrounding infrastructure is expected to leave the final cost at $601 million, and Mandel hopes the remaining money will come from the provincial government.

"This has not been easy, but today we have an absolute deal that will go ahead and I want to thank everyone for their work," Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel said in quotes provided by the Oilers' official Twitter account.

The Oilers have played in Rexall Place, originally known as Northlands Coliseum, since their days in the World Hockey Association prior to joining the National Hockey League in 1979. It is the third-oldest NHL arena behind Madison Square Garden and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

"It's a special entity for our city and this deal secures them here for 35 years," Mandel said.

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