Downtown Oilers Rink another step cautiously forward
Council supports downtown arena, narrows funding gap
The downtown arena project moved closer to reality on April 10 as council found a way to narrow the funding gap.
By a vote of 8 - 5, council agreed to use undesignated provincial funding to cover $45 million of a $100 million shortfall. The approved motion is contingent on the provincial government covering the $55 million balance.
The $45 million is being drawn from Municipal Sustainable Initiative funding. Edmonton’s share of MSI increased by an unexpected $3 million in 2013.
Council agreed to apply the $3 million surplus, as the money won’t negatively impact other infrastructure projects.
Council also approved in principle the master agreement, as well as a location agreement. The latter agreement ensures the Edmonton Oilers remain in Edmonton for the life of the arena lease, or 35 years.
The Katz Group is contributing $115 million to the arena. It is also paying upwards of $25 million to the Winter Garden pedway over 104th Avenue.
The Katz Group’s contribution is being borrowed and therefore subject to interest charges. Therefore, the Katz Group’s will pay approximately $7 million annually to the City to cover its share.
The Katz Group is also responsible for the arena’s operating costs and will pay $250,000 in annual property taxes.
The City’s share of arena construction costs will be borne in part by a Community Revitalization Levy. A surcharge on tickets to events at the arena is also part of the funding equation.