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Oilers complete funding for new downtown arena

Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 6:34 PM / News

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Oilers complete funding for new downtown arena
The Edmonton Oilers and the city council have agreed to the final financing terms that will allow a new arena to be built in time for the 2016-17 NHL season.

The Edmonton Oilers and the city council have agreed to the final financing terms that will allow a new arena to be built in time for the 2016-17 NHL season.

"We're thrilled this deal has finally been approved," Oilers owner Daryl Katz said, according to the team's Twitter feed. "We believe this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Edmonton."

City councilors and the team agreed Wednesday to split the cost of the final missing $30 million needed to green light the downtown project, The Canadian Press reported.

"We'll have a brand new arena with the Oilers staying in our city," Mayor Stephen Mandel said. "It's about building our future."

The deal, with a vote of 10-3 in favor, caps seven years of debate over the $480 million project. Construction is slated to start in the spring of 2014.

"We're over the moon," Oilers president Patrick LaForge said. "So much work has gone into this ... It's fantastic."

The Oilers play in Rexall Place, which opened in 1974.

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Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals