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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2006, 5:56 PM
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Arrow New Arena for Downtown Edmonton؟

Oilers have mayor onside for $1B downtown complex
End in sight for 32-year-old arena Rexall Place


Gordon Kent
The Edmonton Journal

Friday, December 22, 2006

EDMONTON - Mayor Stephen Mandel says he would support a proposal to build a new hockey arena in downtown Edmonton that could be part of a $1-billion development.

A scheme has been floated for several months to move the Oilers to a state-of-the-art arena and entertainment complex in the heart of the city, and Mandel agreed Thursday that the days of Rexall Place as Edmonton's main hockey venue may be numbered.

"We think Northlands is looking at their building to see if it can be renovated or changed. If it can't be, (and) my guess is it would be difficult, then we need to start looking at a new stadium for Edmonton," he said in a year-end interview.

"That particular one is old. If we do (build a new structure), we need to be creative and not burden the taxpayers ... do something that will be sustained in the long term, but really make a statement about what we can do.''

An arena could cost $300 million-$400 million, with the whole project carrying a possible price tag of $1 billion if a hotel, office buildings and other facilities are included, Mandel said.

He didn't indicate whether any city money would be spent on such a scheme, but sees "great merit" in suggestions to construct it on the site of the downtown post office and the long-vacant land north of the CN Tower.

"We think you can design it in such a way to incorporate that as part of downtown. You link downtown, North Edge (residential development north of 105th Avenue), and Downtown East through a stadium that's going to be used a lot."

While Rexall Place, which opened in 1974, is one of the smallest arenas in the NHL, the Oilers have about seven years left on their lease with Northlands.

Canada Post still uses the downtown property for administrative offices and customer mail services, and has said it has no plans to move.

Mandel, who expects the groups involved to make a decision in 2007 on whether the project is feasible, said an arena would be busy with Oilers games, Oil Kings junior games, concerts and other events.

"I think it's exciting and I think the citizens of Edmonton are up for that. I think there's a view today that we can do, whereas in the past there was a feeling that this is Edmonton, we can't do," he said.

"There's a very positive attitude ... it's a great city right now."

© The Edmonton Journal 2006

Copyright © 2006 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.
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Last edited by Shodan; Feb 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2006, 6:37 PM
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Its a work in progress. The oilers and the city are slowly pushing this to win over public support. THere are several years before construciton should begin to allow the Oilers seamless transition from Rexall and the new barn downtown without having to do a new lease. In 7 years the oil will be downtown.
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  #3  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2006, 6:41 PM
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It's good that they are starting the process now for a new arena, you wouldn't want another Pittsburgh situation to happen up here.

One would assume that this new arena would be bigger than current but any numbers floating around?
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  #4  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2006, 6:51 PM
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I really hope it happens. It seems like the Oilers need a new arena badly. The Old Rexall isn't really up to today's standards. Moving it downtown would be a boon.

Ken King of the Flames is also actively seeking a new arena. It would be nice to have one like in Davos. Have you guys seen that one?
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  #5  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2006, 9:08 PM
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Id bet we see 19,000 for seating and double/triple the number of boxes....apparently they have a waiting list on boxes which is double the number they have now.....
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  #6  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2006, 9:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalreg View Post
It's good that they are starting the process now for a new arena, you wouldn't want another Pittsburgh situation to happen up here.
I'm thinking more like Winnipeg.

Still bitter after a decade...
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  #7  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2006, 9:59 PM
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So exciting to see this being openly talked about by the mayor now! I say, go for it, Edmonton!!

Also.... judging from the article, where it says the entire project could cost 1 billion including office towers and a hotel, it looks as if they are definitely wanting to incorporate into Stationlands, as some have already stated.
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  #8  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2006, 10:07 PM
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^stationlands would be that much more viable with this beside it...a hotel would be much more attractive there and even condos. Think of the Toronto development maple leaf square.
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  #9  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2006, 2:21 AM
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Funny how similar cities are when they are conceiving a new arena in the early stages.

Back in the early 90's there was a similar mega concept proposed for Winnipeg called the Manitoba Entertainment Centre (MEC). The devil is in the details though. It takes alot of commitment to get a project like that off the ground.

Columbus designed there new arena within a comprehensive arena district, which turned out to be very successful. It can happen, its just not easy.
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  #10  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2006, 9:27 PM
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/\ one of the most difficult hurdles is land assembly. Given that the area around Stationlands is owned by a few corporate & crown agencies, facilitating a comprehensive redevelopment plan is that much easier.
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 3:46 AM
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^ not to mention the small matter of 1 billion dollars.
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  #12  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 5:45 AM
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newflyer:

Edmonton's far less defeatist and anti-progress than Winnipeg was in the 90s.

They'll get something built, even if it's just another arena instead of a massive billion dollar hockey mecca.
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  #13  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 9:15 AM
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I'm sure they will.. I'm just very aware of how long the process can be. It is very good though that Edmonton is talking about it now... get the plans in place, secure the land and find the funding.

I am not saying Edmonton is defeatist, but 1 billion is a big chunk of change for most cities.
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  #14  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 5:21 PM
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/\ let's remember that the billion dollar figure includes the revised costs for Stationlands, which seems like it will be part of this redevelopment program. The arena portion is slated to cost bet'n $300-400 million.
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  #15  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 5:51 PM
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Bryn Griffifths from Team 1260 posted on hfboards on what he was hearing about the new downtown arena:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=324689&page=3



This is what I'd heard the past two months from Oiler and City Hall
sources... now with more and more of this stuff becoming public so I'm slowly
becoming a believer that there's some movement.

-seating capacity at 18,500... that's it.
-triple the luxury boxes... 120.
-underground LRT access via the secret LRT station.
-arena to be part of the condo-office tower-mall complex on the CN Rail site,
with the developer more than likely chipping in to offset the massive cost.
-still some issue with the Post Office site however.
-current lease could be broken early but EIG would have to pay penalty to Northlands (kind of like any mortgage).
-Edmonton's current arena is 12 years older than Calgary's and their new arena pitch is still in the works and wouldn't be considered for any level of government funding for a few years yet until after the new Edmonton one gets a look.
-the Edmonton taxpayer burden would NOT be as much as you think when you consider the % of the cost being paid by the Feds, the Prov, EIG and the private sector. There's a ticket surcharge that may also be used to help offset things. Northlands may also partner up... making that lease issue a non-issue.

Some or all of this may have hit the papers already, but this is what I've been told, so you can compare notes and have some fun with it. Let's see what happens.
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  #16  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 5:58 PM
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Get the effin Casino to move into the development, that should help to generate capital to get this going. Kill two birds with one stone and hooray no more baccarat and another huge parcel of land that can be redevelopped!
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  #17  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 6:06 PM
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18,500.....why not 18,599?

simpson, smith, gretz:>
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  #18  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 7:29 PM
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18,500 is too small, prepare for the future and make the new colleseum hold 21,000 seats.
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  #19  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 7:34 PM
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I would like to see the new arena seating to be around 20000, incl. 3x luxury boxes. (maybe another 500 for standing room)
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  #20  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2006, 7:42 PM
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There is a reason that during arena building boom of the 90's most built for 18000-19000 capacity.....
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