Edmonton's City Council voted 10-3 Wednesday to approve a cost-shared deal with Oilers owner Daryl Katz for a new $450 million arena.
"This project will be a catalyst. It will change things, it will begin to change downtown, and I hope soon we will see construction," Mayor Stephen Mandel said. "This particular project will build a better city."
"People love the Oilers. It’s part of the fabric in this city … the Oilers will be here for 35 years."
Katz has said he's losing money under the current lease at Rexall Place and wants to have the rink ready for the 2015-16 season.
The proposal is for Katz to contribute $100 million over 35 years. Another $125 million would come from a ticket tax. The city would pay $125 million up front and recoup more than a third of it from the higher property taxes expected to come from that revitalized area of downtown.
The city would also pay Katz $20 million over 10 years to advertise Edmonton through his team. It's not clear what form that advertising would take. Katz would retain the naming rights for the building.
The Oilers reportedly would pay $100 million in installments: $5.5 million in annual rent for 35 years, plus interest, for a total of $186 million. The ticket tax would be $5 to $6 per seat.
However, the deal is still $100 million short, and both Katz and the city have been asking for that money from either the provincial or federal governments. But both governments have said publicly that they will not use tax dollars to fund private enterprises.
However, Alberta Premier Alison Redford has said the city can use provincial infrastructure dollars already allocated to it.
Material from wire services was used in this report