Oilers look to Pittsburgh and Columbus for arena inspiration

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Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge believes Edmonton’s new downtown arena, expected to be ready in time for the 2016-17 NHL season, will “easily be the best in the world.”

Via Sportsnet, LaForge says the new rink will incorporate the best that other buildings around the league have to offer.

Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center and Columbus’ Nationwide Arena are two buildings the Oilers are using to inspire their own unique design.

“We’ve been in and out of their facilities so many times,” said LaForge, “and have taken so much of their architects’ and their hockey peoples’ recommendations on what should and shouldn’t be. Size, dimension, use…

“And the other part is, we’ve been taking a lot of notes on all the things we shouldn’t do. I think we’ve got the Bible kind of put together now.”

The journey to build a new, modern rink for the Oilers has been a long one. Last week, Edmonton city council finally approved a funding model for the $480 million facility.

With the Islanders set to move into the Barclays Center in 2015, the Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames have moved to the top of the list of NHL teams that desire new buildings.