Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Edmonton downtown arena funding

Mayor Mandel and Premier Stelmach are meeting today to discuss funding for the new downtown Edmonton arena to host the Oilers, along with a casino, hotel, bars, restaurants and a whole entertainment area.

The project is $100 million short.

Mandel wants the province to kick in.  Stelmach's right for not just handing the money over, but the tax revenue generated from alcohol taxes alone (especially in this town) will eventually make up the amount.

Or why not a loan?  Wait, the province doesn't exactly have a good history with Oilers owners and loans, do they?

Or, here's another idea from Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith.

The leader of the Wildrose Alliance is saying "no" to the idea of tax hikes to help pay for a new arena in downtown Edmonton, but Danielle Smith has an idea of her own.

Smith is proposing a special lottery to help raise money for what would be the new home of the Oilers. Progressive Conservative Party leadership hopefuls Ted Morton and Alison Redford have both suggested that the province could help by raising sales taxes, even by just 1%.

Smith says under her plan, "interested Albertans" could buy tickets, with proceeds going towards arena construction. The City of Edmonton has a framework deal in place with the Katz Group, but the sides are still about $100 million short on funds.
Shame on Morton and Redford for their stupid tax idea.  Why should folks in Calgary pay for an Edmonton arena?  Is that their solution going forward to fund any new project?  Raise taxes?  I thought Morton was smarter than that.  Guess not.  Now I have no idea why I supported him when he ran for the PC leadership years ago.  I'm certainly not supporting him now.  (I haven't decided yet, but if I were to choose, Rick Orman is now on my radar although the PCs have completely lost my support.)

Anyway... a lottery?  A simple yet effective idea.  While I'm not sure it would generate enough revenue to make up the entire amount, it wouldn't hurt either.  I'd buy a $50 ticket.  Why?  Because I want a new arena downtown.  Those who don't want an arena, don't have to buy one. 


DeeDee said...

The lottery idea is pretty good.

The prizes don't have to be cash either, or all cash at least.

How about a chance to sit on the bench during a game, or with the GM? Or go on a road trip with the team or signed jerseys, or other swag like sticks...

Mike B. said...

I doubt the Oilers org would go for something like that. Katz needs to find other investors as well.