Late last week, word circulated that the project to build a new arena for the Edmonton Oilers is over budget by $35 million. (The original estimate was $450 million, but they reportedly were on track to spend $485 million.) The Edmonton City Council met to find ways to bring costs back down to $450 million while they voted 10-3 in favor of “allowing administration to proceed” with the development based on that original estimate.
Here’s the exact Tweet from the Oilers.
Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel voted in favor and provided these thoughts on the situation, via The Canadian Press.
“Again, I think citizens have clearly stated don’t diminish the beauty of the arena to save a couple of dollars, not going crazy with it, but we have to find a balance,” Mandel said.
Currently, discussions include removing food and beverage areas, stores and other smaller tweaks.
Council member Linda Sloan expressed fears that planners would “push this [deal] through” without a complete explanation.
“There’s going to be an attempt made to try to push this through to get council’s approval, to move it to the next step, even though we don’t have a complete funding model for the arena,” Sloan said.
Here’s video of Mandel’s speech.