Oilers owner remains hopeful arena deal can be reached

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Oilers owner Daryl Katz has released a statement addressing Wednesday’s decision by Edmonton city council to cease negotiations with the club on the construction of a new downtown arena.

“We are concerned about the implications of the motion passed yesterday by City Council,” said Katz. “We do not yet have a view on what comes next, but we remain hopeful that there is a solution that achieves the mutual goal of securing the Oilers’ long-term sustainability in Edmonton.”

Negotiations officially fell apart Wednesday when city council, led by mayor Stephen Mandel, voted to walk away from the original $475-million deal – a deal that Katz had hoped to modify by adding a $6 million annual operating subsidy from the city to the Oilers.

“I’m not saying we should say no to Mr. Katz,” Mandel said, “but all the information that I’ve had an opportunity to see does not justify council giving him another six million dollars a year.”

Mandel also expressed frustration that Katz has been unwilling to meet with city council in public to justify his request.

“We need to send a message that you got a fair deal and stand up to that fair deal or show us why it isn’t a fair deal,” said Mandel.

“And I can tell you he has not shown us.”

For what it’s worth, we still say there’s practically no chance this ends with the Oilers moving out of Edmonton. They’ll figure something out before it gets to that.

Related: Edmonton officials might tweak Oilers’ arena deal if Katz Group opens its books