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Where Credit is Due - Brad Ferguson

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  • #61
    Don't forget

    We were threatened and mislead that we had to pay for the arena

    October 26, 2011, former Oilers owner Bruce Saville: “It’s about an iconic downtown arena and entertainment district that will make a new, revitalized city core, just as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have experienced with new downtown arenas. Do we want to be a world-class city? Do we want to be grouped with Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver? Or do we want to be grouped with Regina and Hamilton and Windsor and Moncton?

    FYI, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver had their arenas built and paid for by the hockey team.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by OffWhyte View Post
      Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
      Originally posted by OffWhyte View Post

      I like this example a lot. But the true cost of the arena is actually closer to $770 million not the $600 million commonly advertised.
      Thanks, I did not know that.

      So that uber rich friend got you to pay for his $770,000 condo for him. (this is 1,000th of the arena cost) and he only pays $219 a month to use the condo for the length of the lease. Note: no annual increases to adjust for inflation. No condo fees and just who ends up paying for the building maintenance? Us or him?
      The true cost includes interest. So the arena is still only worth $600 million (probably less now--arenas decline in value unlike other real estate) but it was bought for $770 million. Those are the perils of using borrowed money.

      So how much you pay for your uber rich friend's condo depends on whether you're paying with your own money or someone else's money.

      The main point though is that your friend pays zero dollars for it.
      And your "friend" also tells you that you're no longer allowed to own the other condo that you have and that you're responsible for the cost of tearing it down so it doesn't compete with a condo you also own but that all the rent collected goes into the "friend's" pocket.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by RichardS View Post
        Interesting discussion.

        I can understand the angst, but the decision is done. The arena is built and in use. The subsequent spin off investment is underway. EEDC_Brad has a point that a lot of this wouldn't be going on sans arena.

        Debate the financial models. I encourage that. However, we are past the debate on the actual construct and we are now in the observation of the ROI. One thing is that we as a citizenry interested in this ROI need to have an agreed-to set of metrics and KPI's so that we are all singing from the same songsheet. Soft and hard benefits need to be either inclusive, or debated separately. Stadium projects are often contentious, especially when downtown investment/revitalization is the rationale.

        I pulled this Colorado Springs article...1) because it was topical for a smaller American city conversation and B) they call it the City of Champions initiative....let the flame war begin on that one!!!

        Also, although Jon is admittedly biased, this segment also applies here..again...




        The title is "credit where credit is due." I can support that title as the job did get completed. I can see a different energy downtown, and all the requisite juxtapositions and hypocrisy that comes with rapid expansion. In short, I am not surprised. The one thing that is a bit surprising though, and I am looking for guidance in understanding this one, is an old thought from years ago on C2E.

        Many here were lamenting the lack of development downtown. In the late 1990's, there were cries for incentives, tax concessions, subsidies, etc...especially since Edmonton almost lost the Oilers to Houston. I was living in Houston at the time, and Les Alexander was 1000% certain it was a done deal. When it failed, the surprise there was obvious and also a little condescending. That aside, it showed just how the rest of the world thought, or more appropriately, didn't think about Edmonton's capability and ability. That led to the cried for subsidies, etc, to give Edmonton a shot in the arm - especially in the alleged graveyard that was Downtown Deadmonton.

        Fast forward to 2003 when I moved back, and the cries were even louder. Calgary was leaps and bounds ahead of Edmonton. Given the older demographic here, I won't go into nauseating detail of what many of us already know.

        So...this arena comes along...get's its subsidies and tax breaks...ostensibly aligning to the outcry. So, is it the arena vs a head office relocation that is at issue here? Hockey vs Home Depot's HQ? Doesn't this arena project give Edmonton that alleged game changing look and feel? I know the clients and tourists I've brought though think so...at least from an outward appearance.

        The bad part...OEG appears to have a stranglehold on the city in many ways. Is this true? Are other things being crushed, obliterated, or ignored in this hockey crazed town? It appears so. It seems like if the OEG doesn't like it, you can't get attention. I am open to be proven wrong...

        Overall, I think the Ice District will prove to be a good thing. I just want to see clear ROI.
        Agree that it's too late to tear the arena down and we need to focus on observation and metrics. However, this is near impossible given the ongoing spin emanating from OEG, Katz Group, EEDC, and CoE. Even basic data such as how much revenue the ticket surcharge and parking is generating is impossible to find.

        It's also impossible to say how much would be going on sans arena but again the spin is that none of it would be happening. This is almost certainly not true.

        Also you mention the stranglehold OEG has on the city. This is the real elephant in the room. Their reach and influence has permeated all levels of civic governance such that it becomes impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. This obviously allows for undue influence--whether in regards to liquor stores, parking, or whatever else may arise in the future--but additionally further obfuscates any attempts at obtaining clear and unbiased metrics. The consequence is that the citizens of Edmonton are unable to properly assess the merits and outcomes of this "partnership".

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        • #64
          Anyone for a good old-fashioned cabal?
          I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

          Comment


          • #65
            Are you trying to dismiss OffWhyte's argument about the influence of OEG on all levels of civic governance (and in many respects cultural life) with some piffle about conspiracy theories? If so, you are either delusional or new in town. That is an assumed basic tenet of any discussion regarding Edmonton. No serious person thinks otherwise.

            Comment


            • #66
              https://brad-ferguson.com/2018/01/30...credit-is-due/
              The partnership between the City of Edmonton and the Katz Group sparked $5.5 billion in new investment, created over 30,000 new jobs, generated over $750 million in new taxes, increased residential density by 20%, added 15% more restaurants and bars, all while improving the brand and reputation of our city and the pride of Edmontonians.
              You can interpret "sparked" as you wish (which will probably reflect your personal bias), but the average joe citizen is well aware that OEG/Katz/Brad Ferguson is not taking sole credit for downtown revitalization. Although I agree with the sentiment and concerns of all the above posts, I don't think building strawman "all or nothing" arguments are a good basis for thoughtful discussion.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Spudly View Post
                Anyone for a good old-fashioned cabal?

                Nah, I'm already booked in 2...
                President and CEO - Airshow.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by OffWhyte View Post
                  Agree that it's too late to tear the arena down and we need to focus on observation and metrics. However, this is near impossible given the ongoing spin emanating from OEG, Katz Group, EEDC, and CoE. Even basic data such as how much revenue the ticket surcharge and parking is generating is impossible to find.

                  It's also impossible to say how much would be going on sans arena but again the spin is that none of it would be happening. This is almost certainly not true.

                  Also you mention the stranglehold OEG has on the city. This is the real elephant in the room. Their reach and influence has permeated all levels of civic governance such that it becomes impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. This obviously allows for undue influence--whether in regards to liquor stores, parking, or whatever else may arise in the future--but additionally further obfuscates any attempts at obtaining clear and unbiased metrics. The consequence is that the citizens of Edmonton are unable to properly assess the merits and outcomes of this "partnership".
                  ...the answer to this is simple...start demanding it from your councillors. Administration will get asked eventually.

                  bolo has a point. This is not an all or nothing conversation. While both of you are right that OEG et al cannot take full credit for the turnaround, anecdotally, I can see they've played a major part. I cannot tell you how many other projects were started with this Ice District coming to fruition in mind, because they all have not stood up and said they invested because the arena was an odds on favorite for coming downtown.

                  As for the influence part, I also cannot give specifics...but one thing that is for sure...it is easy to have influence when this city itself is hockey mad. That amount of money, influence, and civic pride can move many things and has an energy all itself. Personally, I am not a hockey nut since 2006 really soured me, but I see that this city's entertainment and dare I say identity is infused with the Oilers. I am season ticket Esks holder for many reasons...but that team cannot hold a candle to hockey as far as influence...neither can any arts initiative. Once cannot discount the reality that the hockey mad fan base is also a major part of that influence into the decisions...

                  As for Brad's article, putting aside the financial concerns and ROI conversation, do you see a difference in look, feel, and energy within the City, and the core, with the Ice District? As I said before, I do. It is a better feel than anytime at Northlands..
                  President and CEO - Airshow.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by bolo View Post
                    https://brad-ferguson.com/2018/01/30...credit-is-due/
                    The partnership between the City of Edmonton and the Katz Group sparked $5.5 billion in new investment, created over 30,000 new jobs, generated over $750 million in new taxes, increased residential density by 20%, added 15% more restaurants and bars, all while improving the brand and reputation of our city and the pride of Edmontonians.
                    You can interpret "sparked" as you wish (which will probably reflect your personal bias), but the average joe citizen is well aware that OEG/Katz/Brad Ferguson is not taking sole credit for downtown revitalization. Although I agree with the sentiment and concerns of all the above posts, I don't think building strawman "all or nothing" arguments are a good basis for thoughtful discussion.
                    The following quote is sourced from the same page and it says that he personally invested $2 billion. There is no interpretation needed in that. If the City gives you or me a billion dollars we would be half way there!

                    "And Daryl Katz delivered. What was originally a $100 million commitment (subject to commercial efficacy) in the Arena Master Agreement has now turned into more than $2 billion of personal investment in our downtown."
                    Last edited by SP59; 02-02-2018, 10:13 PM. Reason: change font size on quote

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by noodle View Post
                      Originally posted by kcantor View Post
                      although, for perspective, aren’t you ignoring the fact that for a century downtown has paid considerably more in property taxes than it has received in municipal services, effectively subsidizing the rest of the city in general and residential taxpayers in particular.
                      Isn't this the case everywhere though? Isn't that sorta the purpose of densification? What makes Edmonton special, so that a billion dollars worth of public spending is what some people feel Downtown was "owed"?
                      perhaps it is true everywhere. my point however, was that it’s true here and it was a counter to statements in this thread that the rest of the city is somehow subsidizing downtown here because of the arena crl. they’re not. whether you agree with the crl cost/benefit analysis is a different discussion but even if you’re right, downtown still overcontributes. and if you’re wrong, you’re really wrong. and 1/7th of the way in, it is looking like you’re pretty likely to be really wrong. anyway, we could debate this for the 30 year life if the crl without changing a thing so we might as well sit back and enjoy/make the best of the rest of the ride. the numbers will be what the numbers will be whether or not we tilt at each other’s windmills in the interim.
                      "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by bolo View Post
                        https://brad-ferguson.com/2018/01/30...credit-is-due/
                        The partnership between the City of Edmonton and the Katz Group sparked $5.5 billion in new investment, created over 30,000 new jobs, generated over $750 million in new taxes, increased residential density by 20%, added 15% more restaurants and bars, all while improving the brand and reputation of our city and the pride of Edmontonians.
                        You can interpret "sparked" as you wish (which will probably reflect your personal bias), but the average joe citizen is well aware that OEG/Katz/Brad Ferguson is not taking sole credit for downtown revitalization. Although I agree with the sentiment and concerns of all the above posts, I don't think building strawman "all or nothing" arguments are a good basis for thoughtful discussion.
                        I agree with this.

                        Could we have gotten the same arena with less public investment? Probably

                        Could we have gotten as much private investment for our money through other means? Probably

                        Could we have gotten the same private investment with less public investment? Probably

                        But there's no way to know what those deals would have been, and if they would have worked out. Maybe downtown could actually have succeeded on it's own, or maybe it would have continued bleeding investment.

                        No one thinks the deal was perfect, and obviously Katz benefited far more than anyone else, but I don't think it was a terrible choice to make. This was a deal that although it lines the pockets of a millionaire (billionaire? idk), still will create more development and give more dollars to the city than they put in.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          ROI, both public and private, will be looked back upon positively. We are exceptionally fortunate to have these investments/developments transpiring given the economy and many, MANY other factors. The velocity of this is incredible as is the transformative nature of it in a physical way and by way of perception. When I go to Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, hell Riverbend it is amazing how many people are impressed with what 'we' are doing here.


                          Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by IanO View Post
                            (...) it is amazing how many people are impressed with what 'we' are doing here.

                            I want the ROI to be positive.

                            ...and to reword the sentence to remove the royal "we"... it is amazing how many people are impressed with what is going on here.
                            President and CEO - Airshow.

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