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  • Anti-Arena posts/essays here.

    This is for members to post their anti-arena thoughts. I will forward an e-
    mail to councillors to let them know this thread exists.


    There will be no debate here. Only your opinion. Posters who violate this rule will be suspended for the duration of this exercise.
    Ow

  • #2
    I am now pro-arena, anti-funding model. We've conceded far too many points to Mr. Katz over the past few weeks and I fail to see how we've held Mr. Katz to his end of the bargain. Either he is a master negotiator or council has become so desperate for this project that they're willing to throw caution to the wind.

    It's somewhat unforgivable that the city has been trying to build public support for the past year by ensuring that private enterprise was coming forward, cheque in hand, to kickstart the project, and now have accepted an agreement where we will not only front the project, but we'll also subsidize it through a (likely) bogus advertising scheme.

    I am rapidly souring on this project in its current form. Mr. Katz has some personal billions at his disposal, and we can't even negotiate for him to hand over what he originally promised? Yikes.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

    Comment


    • #3
      I still think the deal, as proposed to the public, is a bad deal:

      1. It's ugly
      2. It features a pedway structure over 104 avenue. There should be a tunnel UNDER 104 avenue otherwise we will end up with the same type of structure that exists at the Legislature.
      3. From the air, it looks like an upside down phallus.
      4. It's an arena. It should be in the middle of a bunch of attractive buildings, residential, hotel, office. It should not be front and centre. It will be idle most of the time.
      5. Eventually, the new (extremely plain and downright ugly) buildings may reinvigorate downtown, but the arena by itself will not. Just wait until the existing residents start to complain about the noise and drunken revellers screaming "OILLLLLERS!" after a game.
      Last edited by bobinedmonton; 25-10-2011, 10:58 AM.
      BobinEdmonton

      Comment


      • #4
        I am not anti-arena, only against this particular arena deal.

        Email sent to Mayor and Council is below:

        Unless it runs into the evening, work commitments prevent me from attending next Tuesday's public hearing on the revised Framework Agreement for a Downtown Arena. So I am sharing these thoughts by email. Let me be clear. I am not opposed to some public dollars being invested in a new downtown arena. However, I am opposed to the arena deal currently on the table in which the City will have to borrow upfront 100% of the funds needed for arena construction. Meanwhile, the Katz Group receives 100% of the arena revenues and only repays a small fraction of the construction costs in the form of tax-deductible annual lease payments.

        I was encouraged by comments made by Northlands CEO Richard Andersen in the media this week. The gist of Andersen's comments were that Northlands still prefers a one arena solution but, in the absence of being involved in the new arena, they intend to continue running their non-Oilers related events business in their existing arena. I believe these comments open the door to a more balanced deal more favourable to City taxpayers. Here is a link to a news story on Andersen's comments:
        http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sport...736/story.html

        The door is open for a better deal. Now that the Katz Group is no longer putting in any money upfront they have no more "skin in the game" than Northlands. Here are a few suggestions for a more balanced deal:
        1. RSG (Rexall Sports Group) pays $5.5 million per year and in exchange gets to rent the arena for the 90 or so days a year that the Oilers and Oil Kings play there. As the primary tenant, RSG get first dibs on dates for play-off games and naming rights.
        2. RSG also gets all arena revenues (including from onsite parking) on game days and is responsible for operations and maintenance expenses based on its share of the use.
        3. Any sponsorship agreement with RSG is based on fair market value for goods and services received. For example, if the City buys a rink board ad, it pays the same as other advertisers do.
        4. The City asks Northlands: how much are you willing to pay for non-Oilers related events at the new arena? If you value your current events business at Rexall Place at $250 million over the next 35 years, what would it be worth in a spanking new arena with more seats and lower maintenance costs?
        5. I'm assuming Northlands inflated their $250 million compensation demand for a non-compete agreement. But if Northlands were willing to pay $250 million over the next 30 years to run non-Oilers related events (concerts, Canadian Finals Rodeo, etc) at the new arena in exchange for all revenues and its share of the operations and maintenance costs for those events, the City goes back to RSG and asks them if they can top the Northlands bid. If RSG can top Northlands, they get the non-Oilers related events business at the new arena as well.

        With the solution above there is an increased likelihood of ending up with only one arena rather than two competing ones. The city would not be in the position of having to tax events at the old arena in order to create a level playing field with the new arena, thereby hurting the revenue streams and profitability of both facilities. Depending upon what Northlands (or RSG) was willing to pay the City for the non-Oilers related events business at the new arena, it might even be possible to cover the $100 million funding shortfall and/or reduce the CRL contribution to the financing.

        The worst possible outcome is a rushed decision on a significantly revised deal that involves much more financial risk for the City than even the earlier May 18 framework. I urge you to vote NO to this unbalanced agreement, or at the very least, postpone a decision until Northlands is formally asked what they are prepared to pay for the non-Oilers related events business at the new arena.

        I welcome your feedback on the suggestions made in this email.

        Best wishes in your deliberations,

        John Kolkman

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not anti-arena, I just have serious reservations about a private business venture in which taxpayers take on all the risk and the business owner gets the majority of the benefit.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd like a downtown arena, but not at any cost. This deal is totally suspect in terms of its economic justification and the amount of risk Edmontonians are being asked to bear. The balance has tilted too far in Katz's favor, imo.
            “Son, one day this will be an iconic structure shaping Edmonton’s skyline.”

            Comment


            • #7
              This is corporate welfare at its worst.

              He gets a new arena to his design specifications with no $100M up front that he promised, no requirements for investing $100M in surrounding developments, no requirements to pay any cost overruns, a cheap $5.5M lease with the taxpayers paying him $2M back, he keeps all the revenue, no risk, and our taxes and users paying his bills.

              At his Net cost of $3.5M lease rate he is getting a deal. Most lease rates in Edmonton are 1:12 to 1:18 of the building value. He is getting $3.5M:$450M = 1:128 or 10 cents on the dollar.

              If this was a $450,000 house, the tax payers are footing the entire bill and he only pays the equivalent of $3,500 a year, or $292 a MONTH in rent.

              Wouldn't we all like a deal like that!
              Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree with almost all of the arguments in the PRO-arena forum. Except when they end with "at any cost." I was for this deal for a long time, but the terms are getting out of hand since the Bettman meeting. And the artificial deadline is creating a panicky atmosphere where due diligence and reasoned debate is tossed aside. All of this is showing just how shrewd a businessman Katz is, especially when pitted against city council.

                The one huge red herring in all this is the Oilers are not leaving Edmonton. Threatening to leave town is tactic #1 in every owners' playbook. The Oilers are profitable thanks in large part to an obsessed fan base. Every game since the lockout has been sold out, we willingly pay among the highest prices for a ticket and beer in the league*, and everyone seems to have purchased a licenced jersey in the past couple of years (I even saw a Nugent-Hopkins jersey at a pre-season game - the kid hadn't even made the team yet). Is there a better market in the NHL for fan support and potential profits? Maybe Montreal and Toronto, that's it. This team isn't going anywhere, and council should stop acting like there's a gun at their head.

                I love the Oilers, I love the idea of a downtown arena, and I have no problem whatsoever with my tax dollars being used to make this happen. But not at any cost. Come on, Mandel, you can do much better.


                * http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/...urn=nhl-280287
                Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -John F. Kennedy

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have unapproved 2 posts. Again, there is no debating opinions in this thread. Please post your opinion only.
                  Ow

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    (Admin edit...unnecessary comment removed)

                    I was for the arena, then against it, then for it again, but now I really am against the deal solely because it feels like it's being shoved down our throats.

                    The Journal's coverage today leaves no imagination to the fact that they openly endorsed the deal, gave front page/section coverage, and then buried critics in the business section.

                    The collusion between Bettman, Mandel, and Katz makes me nervous and I'd walk personally.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm ok with the arena portion of the deal, but I'd like that 20M marketing arrangement to be stricken from the framework. If the city thinks they can get 20M of value from Oilers marketing, fine by me, but they should do it outside of the framework and only agree to it after seeing what they will be paying for. It's not like Katz has anything to fear from the city spending it's marketing budget on another sports team, so he doesn't need to lock it in now. Let him figure out a way to provide 2M/year of marketing and sell it to the city when the time is right, not now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't like coming downtown at all, hard to park and cost too much, rifraf on the streets begging for cigarettes or change. I would rather see the arena by the airport on QE2 or out by River Cree Casino with one giant parking lot, good for tailgate parties as well.
                        Just enjoying another day in paradise.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Or....just stay in Rexall Place it seems ok for another 20 years or so. Save everyone a lot of dough.
                          Just enjoying another day in paradise.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Up until recently I wasn't so much opposed to the Downtown arena as I was concerned about the "Deal". But additional information, some of it anecdotal, the current deal combined with the overall financial burdens of the Downtown Arena, The City Centre Airport development, the LRT projects, Walterdale bridges replacement and ongoing infrastructure projects has made me effectively fall off the fence.

                            While I still support improving our downtown I am now not in favor of this projects as it stands.

                            This year I had the pleasure of spending time in both Dayton Ohio and Hamilton Ontario centres that have been down the path. The people that I met that lived there had a very different perspective than the press releases and media articles painted.

                            In short other than adding traffic downtown during events they felt noting had changed. They have seen no additional development of significance and other than having a nice arena...nothing of note.

                            Then there's the deal and the dollars...

                            The deal is poor and horribly one sided. Even the thought of approving such a project when the 100million dollar short fall hasn't been addressed is doubly concerning.

                            If not from the Province or the Feds where will it appear from?

                            Then there is the total dollar discussion...
                            With all the projects listed above and no design for the Arena or the City Centre Redevelopment we really have no idea of the total costs of these projects let alone the effect of their costs on the currently running projects such as LRT that are running into hundreds of millions of dollars.

                            Where are these dollars all going to come from? Combined its astronomical!

                            While I could still support a downtown arena project it's time to quit with the artificial deadlines, pressures and related factors and step back and look at the overall picture of all the projects.

                            Now explain where all the money is going to come from, how the differing projects effect each other and have the real costs on hand...not concepts and guesstimates.

                            Then make a decision.

                            Tom Hinderks
                            Ward 2 resident
                            Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 25-10-2011, 05:09 PM. Reason: wording, spelling

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Additional notes...

                              Cost of arena.................450,000,000 as currently reviewed
                              Related infrastructure......150,000,000 (?) from media references
                              Additional DT projects......360,000,000 courtest "The Cat" from Pro Arena essay thread
                              City Centre Airport redev..500,000,000 (wild guess)
                              LRT projects...................300,000,000 (estimate from media sources)

                              Total............................1,760,000,000 that's right 1.76 Billion dollars in projects

                              If there are 800,000 total City of Edmonton residents that is $2,200.00 for every man woman and child in Edmonton (if my math is correct).

                              Once we establish where all this money is coming from then lets have the arena conversation.

                              Tom
                              Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 26-10-2011, 08:59 AM.

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