Columnist on Edmonton arena deal: Daryl Katz blew it

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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.