Edmonton city council approves new Oilers arena

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If the Consol Energy Center was the house that Crosby and Malkin built, then the Edmonton Oilers’ arena will be the house that Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins built.

OK, it will really just another arena primarily built by taxpayers’ money, but that’s just the sad state of affairs in much of modern sports.

Edmonton’s city council approved the arena by a 10-3 margin, according to CBC News. Oilers owner Daryl Katz will pay $30 million of the $100 million he owes up front, which is just 25 percent of the total estimated costs of the new arena.

City councilor Don Iveson shared a rather stark take on the deal.

“This deal … flows from our weak negotiating position, weakened by the fear of losing the team. A fear, I think, is irrational and a bluff I might call,” he said.

Meanwhile, Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel called it a “watershed moment” for the city, which one can assume doesn’t reference taxypayers being taken behind the watershed.

All griping about the business of sports aside, the Oilers will stay in Edmonton and are likely to create a lot of joy once the new arena is built. They’re already improving as we speak, but much like the Penguins, the Oilers are likely to be a contending team once the new building is up and running. That will require some wise decision making along the way, but Katz & Co. just cleared what might be the biggest hurdle of them all – with a big boost from the city, of course.