Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz has been fighting with the Edmonton city council for more money to build a new arena. When they turned him down, the Oilers opened the door to the possibility of relocation.
The Edmonton Oilers’ official twitter account retweeted a story about the possibility of Edmonton losing the team and the franchise began to publicly weigh their options, including a possible move to Seattle.
Now Katz has a message to the fans of Edmonton: He’s sorry.
“I took for granted your support and your love of the Oilers,” Katz said in a full page ad in the Edmonton Journal. “That was wrong, and I apologize.”
Katz said his intentions were to show the City leaders that his support couldn’t be taken for granted and that he bought the Oilers in the first place because he wants to build a sustainable franchise in Edmonton.
Here’s the text of the full page ad, again, courtesy of the Edmonton Journal:
To the People of Edmonton, Northern Alberta and Oilers Fans Everywhere,
I owe you an explanation.
I was upset when certain conﬁdential information was leaked and by comments that I thought were unfair and called my integrity into question. I reacted by trying to send a message to City leaders that they should not take my support for a new arena for granted.
In doing so, I took for granted your support and your love of the Oilers.
That was wrong, and I apologize.
The best I can say is that I did it because I’m ﬁghting for a deal that will enable the team to stay in Edmonton – and not because I want them to be anywhere else.
That’s why I bought the Oilers in the ﬁrst place. Because I want the NHL to be sustainable in Edmonton for the long-term, and because I saw the city’s need for a new arena as an opportunity to transform our city for the better.
In hindsight, I have underestimated the degree to which it would be up to us to make the case for public funding. As I think you all know by now, public communications is not in my nature. Chalk that up as a personal shortcoming.
The simple fact is that the Oilers need Edmonton, and Edmonton needs the Oilers. Each is an integral part of the fabric and identity of the other.
We are continuing to work with City Administration to forge a win-win partnership that will beneﬁt our city and that we can all be proud of.
I hope we can count on your support.