Oilers owner Daryl Katz had his dream of a new, money-making arena in Edmonton right there ready to be signed off on. Then he decided he wanted the city to pitch in even more money than they were already set to fork over. During a lockout.
Eric Duhatschek of The Globe And Mail says Katz’s thinking on why he should get more money was highly flawed at best.
“The justification seems to be that owners in Pittsburgh and Winnipeg received more generous support from their respective governments, so why shouldn’t Katz belly up to the trough for more, too?
Edmonton city council is in no way bound by precedents established by governing bodies in other jurisdictions. It has only one responsibility in the here-and-now, and that is to the taxpayers who elected them to office.”
Pittsburgh’s situation was a bit more dire when Mario Lemieux forced the city’s hand to get a deal done as he posed the serious threat of moving the team to Kansas City. That coming on the heels of Jim Balsillie’s failed bid to buy and move the team as well as other failed arena initiatives, the team and city worked things out.
Katz got the deal he was looking for at first, he just got too greedy in wanting more. It’s almost as simple as that. He figured looking a gift horse in the mouth was the way to go.
When a city is ready to back up the Brinks truck to get your deal done, the smart move would’ve been to just let them do it.
The Oilers are continuing their bold stand to show the city of Edmonton they’re serious about moving the franchise if the city council doesn’t give them more money for a new downtown arena.
Bob Black, the Executive Vice President, Edmonton Arena Corporation, Katz Group issued a statement confirming the group’s meeting with people in Seattle tonight to “evaluate the market.” They also made it clear Seattle isn’t the only city taking an interest in the franchise.
“Nonetheless, and as the City of Edmonton is aware, the Katz Group has been listening to proposals from a number of potential NHL markets for some time. After more than four years of trying to secure an arena deal and with less than 24 months remaining on the Oilers’ lease at Rexall Place, this is only prudent and should come as no surprise.”
Let’s sum things up quick:
— Edmonton City Council pledges $200 million to help pay for a new downtown arena
— Katz tells the council he wants more money from them for the project and they refuse to give in
— Katz says the future of the franchise in Edmonton is in jeopardy without more money and refuses to meet again with the council
The actions from Katz are hostile, at best, and seemingly foolish given that the league is currently locking out its players. Katz might be wise to reevaluate how this whole situation looks.
You can celebrate now, Seattle – you’re almost definitely getting a new arena.
The Seattle City Council voted in favor of new legislation, by a 6-2 margin, to build a new downtown arena to try and bring the NBA and possibly the NHL to the city. The plan was initially approved two weeks ago, but other details had to be worked out and re-approved. Of course, the whole deal is contingent on an NBA or NHL team moving there to make it happen.
While the aim of the new building is mainly to bring pro basketball back to town, there’s also interest in bringing pro hockey to town as well to help fill up the new arena, something that’s kept our interest in the story here.
In a curious turn of events, Ian Furness of KJR radio in Seattle reports Edmonton Oilers’ ownership, led by Daryl Katz, happened to be in town to survey Key Arena while Chris Daniels of KING-TV says they’re there to “survey the market.” The timing is a bit obvious.
Katz has been trying to get more money from the Edmonton City Council to help him build a new downtown arena there. The city council has turned him down for that and he’s none too pleased about it, even refusing to meet with them again while relocation has been threatened.
While Oilers owner Daryl Katz wants the city to pay more money into the pot for a new arena for the team, the city has been resistant to do so. This has led to Katz rattling his sabre about potentially moving the team if he doesn’t get his way.
Edmonton Journal reporter John MacKinnon penned a column saying how failing to get the deal done will cost Edmonton its team.
While the column is all well and good and features his take on things, a funny thing happened: The Oilers’ official Twitter account re-tweeted the story.
It’s one thing to have the owner make veiled (or obvious) threats about moving the team if he doesn’t get his way, it’s another thing entirely to go full PR push to help advocate for the cause.
The Oilers’ account pulling this move makes you wonder if Katz is getting tips from Miami Marlins owner Jeff Loria on how not to win public support for a project.
Update (2:11 p.m. ET): Surprise to no one, the Oilers have since deleted the Tweet. Nothing goes away on the Internet, gang.