It remains to be seen if the Edmonton Oilers will be a playoff contender by the time they move into Rogers Place in 2016-17. It looks like Oilers season ticket holders will be paying as if they’re a high-end team either way.
The good news for Edmonton Oilers fans is that the “Connor McDavid tax” won’t be that costly for next season. Season tickets in their new arena fall in the cost range of “arm and a leg,” though.
The Oilers released a “season seat relocation guide” for the opening of Rogers Place in 2016-17, and the options are both more expensive and a little more complicated than what fans will experience at Rexall Place. It’s a little tough to compare and contrast when ticket pricing options just from eight different structures to 38, as Global Edmonton points out.
Copper & Blue’s Ryan Batty probably summarizes the more modest jump in prices – relatively speaking – between 2014-15 and next season versus the leap between 2015-16 and the new building’s opening campaign in 2016-17.
Yikes. To little surprise, Oilers fans seem a little stunned by the spike in prices, especially since Batty points out that the team is asking for some cash early:
Here are some choice reactions from fans and media members on Twitter:
Well, they better improve by the time they move then, right?
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.
Here are a couple of stories about NHL teams fighting with city/regional governments for money related to their new or previous arena deals.
- First, news that’s good for an NHL team: the Montreal Canadiens won a tax-related battle with the city of Montreal regarding the Bell Centre. The Habs will receive a $5.8 million rebate after this legal victory. The Canadiens’ annual tax bill will also drop from $10 million to $8.5 million. The combined rebate and first year of savings (about $7.3 million) would almost cover Scott Gomez’s $7.5 million salary in 2011-12. No word regarding whether or not the Canadiens’ brass began an “Ole” chant after hearing the good news.
- The Edmonton Oilers are desperate to leave the 37-year-old Rexall Place once their lease expires in 2014. To do so, the Oilers reportedly need a big boost from either Alberta or the federal government.
Unfortunately for the Oilers, both sides seem reluctant (at best) to give them a $100-$125 million boost to build a $425 million arena project.
“There won’t be any direct dollars flowing to the arena. It’s a private sector business,” said Premier Ed Stelmach at an event in Calgary Wednesday.
“We’ve always said if they are improvements that can be made to the infrastructure around the proposed arena — LRT, water, sewer all of those that are joint responsibility of the city and the province. But we are continuing to meet.”
The federal government has been equally reluctant.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it clear earlier this year that his government is not in the pro-hockey business and will not spend taxpayers’ money on a professional sports arena or stadium.
This Oilers arena issue has been brewing for a few years now, but still seems like an under the radar problem. We’ll keep an eye on it as it develops, though, because it could get quite a bit thornier if the word “relocation” is thrown around even more than it already has been.
With all the talk lately about a potential new arena in Edmonton and the talk about the team potentially looking towards Quebec City as a future destination should things not work out, there’s some new news today about how things will (or won’t) work out in the project.
Oilers billionaire owner Daryl Katz has been trying to broker a deal with the City of Edmonton to help subsidize a new arena for the Oilers in Edmonton courtesy of taxpayer money. His target date to have it done was 2014 and according to a report, if they want it done by then it’s not likely going to happen.
City officials confirmed Friday that construction timelines and surrounding shops and offices that would go with the rink would make such a deadline “challenging.”
“I think it’s everybody’s target to get something built by 2014,” Simon Farbrother told reporters at City Hall after releasing documents detailing answers sought by councillors deciding whether to help fund the $450-million rink.
“(But) I think probably all parties assume if we’re able to pull a deal together that works for everybody, an extension of that lease (at Rexall Place) for a year or six months or whatever — we’d be able to do that.”
Whenever it comes to stories like these were a team is doing their damnedest to tweak the locals into getting something they want done, you have to wonder if there’s an ulterior motive at work here from the Oilers. After all, they’re trying to get taxpayers to help pay for the arena and the story this week about talk going on with Quebec City sure makes for excellent scare fodder.
With talk of the possibility of an end date for finished construction not being able to be achieved it’s another thing for Katz and his group to dangle in front of the fans and politicians alike to help get Rexall Place replaced. Rexall Place has been around since 1974 making it the second oldest arena in the league behind Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. The Oilers could definitely use a new place to play, but strong-arming the taxpayers to pony up for it when Katz is a multi-billionaire would be a disgusting abuse of the locals and their love of the team. Let’s just hope all this grandstanding doesn’t result in either the taxpayers getting screwed or a team being relocated.