Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hey Andy!

A committee studying whether to build a new arena in downtown Edmonton has concluded that the project would be both feasible and desirable.

The committee said Tuesday a new sports and entertainment facility in the Alberta capital would help revitalize its downtown core.

As for who would pay for the $450-million, 18,000 seat arena, the committee suggests a "mix of public and private participation."
I expect The Battle of Alberta to be on this one shortly.

UPDATE Or you can just read the other guys. But you already knew that.

Labels: ,


At 3:16 p.m., March 26, 2008, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

Those of us out here in BC have experienced enough of these 'public-private partnership' deals to know that it basically means

a. The taxpayers get screwed (again)
b. the private corporations benefit big time.

The Oilers are a very profitable franchise. The fact that one dollar of public funds is going to fund a new arena is just silly.

At 3:56 p.m., March 26, 2008, Blogger Matt said...

Here's my favourite quote, revealing how much thought and study was put into a non-downtown location:

"We had an idea, very early on, that dropping an arena somewhere in the middle of nowhere wouldn't create anything," feasibility committee chair Lyle Best told a news conference on Tuesday.

At 4:31 p.m., March 26, 2008, Blogger rosco said...

"We had an idea, very early on, that dropping an arena somewhere in the middle of nowhere wouldn't create anything," feasibility committee chair Lyle Best told a news conference on Tuesday.

Ottawa...err...Kanata disagrees.

At 4:38 p.m., March 26, 2008, Blogger Paul Nicholson said...

I'm kinda surprised they're only talking about an 18,000 seat replacement for Rexall. Why not big it a bit bigger? One of the things that i think has hurt Nashville is having an arena that only holds 17,113 (which is still bigger than Rexall if Wikipedia is right...jeez...16,839?).

I know the league average is just barely above 18k, but still seems like most teams would want to build on the bigger side (at least 19k or better), especially when they are the only show in town like Edmonton (see Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, etc)

At 4:47 p.m., March 26, 2008, Blogger Scarlett said...

If this is going forward, which it appears is the case, it'd better be a bigger arena than 18,000. I don't mind my tax dollars going into this but they'd better make it closer to 20,000. What's the point of only making it 1300 bigger? They can sell out a larger venue!

At 5:10 p.m., March 26, 2008, Anonymous twain said...

18, 000 is all about keeping demand/prices up relative to cost, which is absolutely absurd if the public is footing a significant amount of the bill. No real justification is given in the report, either, except for it being a hunch that it would be an ideal size.

Keep in mind the original Coliseum sat more than 16, 839 (reduced to make room for boxes), and thus a city that has grown substantially and is economically booming is having a negligible rise in available tickets.

At 5:29 p.m., March 26, 2008, Blogger Chris! said...

Hey James!

Mike W had our take up on Covered in Oil yesterday and an interesting thread has emerged there since. How about some love?

At 6:59 p.m., March 26, 2008, Blogger godot10 said...

//Ottawa...err...Kanata disagrees.//

The Kanata location is an effing disaster, and is an epitome of why suburban arenas absolutley suck.

Driving to a hockey game in Ottawa is like driving to Edmonton's International Airport.

At 8:56 p.m., March 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Senators weren't supposed to exist. The whole expansion bid was a ruse to get the land rezoned for Firestone's development.

At 5:46 p.m., March 27, 2008, Anonymous Keith said...

The problem with really large arenas (as we found out in Calgary, and as Tampa well knows) is that when the team sucks, it looks very bad as supply far exceeds demand. A smaller arena (though not Winnipeg small, obviously) helps maintain that balance of supply and demand in strong times and lean.

And don't kid yourselves, if Edmonton misses out several years in a row again, attendance will fall, just like it did last time.

I'd say 18,000 is a good figure for the Edmonton market. And while it would only be 1100 more seats on the whole (16,839 for Rexall is correct), consider that extra seats above that point will all be in the cheapest sections. A new arena in Edmonton will probably have over 100 luxury suites, compared to the 48 Rexall has. That will lead to a massive increase in revenue.

As far as using public funds goes, I am atypical in that I would support it, in a limited sense. While much of the money does go to rich private individuals, the simple fact is, the civic pride and publicity created by the teams are worth it.

An additional wringle in the Oilers arena saga, however, is the fact that Calgary is also planning their new building (to be open by 2014). If public funds goes to one, public funds goes to both. There's a reason why this report was deliberately held back until after the provincial election.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Links to this post:

Create a Link


Free Page Rank Checker
eXTReMe Tracker