Thursday, October 18, 2012

Good Job Edmonton!

1) Our hats are off to the Edmonton City Council today after yesterday's vote to refuse the extortion attempt by The Edmonton Oilers drug dealer owner. To review for some who haven't been following this issue. The deal to build a new arena for the Edmonton Oilers collapsed yesterday, with city councillors correctly blaming Oilers owner Daryl Katz and his last-minute demands for millions more in taxpayers money.  The original deal had taxpayers and ticket buyers paying to build the rink with the Oilers outlaying about $15 million a year in lease payments and operating costs and allowed to keep almost all the profits made.  The original deal  fell apart a month ago when Katz wanted a do-over after "he'd had a second look at the numbers" and needed millions more, including a $6 million a year in operating subsidies for the arena.

2) Katz' logic?  Well first he probably feels empowered as most other municipalities bend over and take it when they are bullied into spending tax dollars for a private enterprise. The usual nonsense is that the new arena will spur retail, office, and residential buildings around it that would bring in about $2 billion more in tax revenues over 20 years.  Total bullshit. Even the more conservative city estimate of 584 million over 20 year is probably way over stating the positive spill over effect of building the new arena in downtown Edmonton.  His blatant extortion moves included, Katz threatening to move the team to Seattle if the arena did not get built. He visited the Pacific northwest US city three weeks ago in a very public, clear signal to the Edmonton City Council that he meant business.  We don't. buy his  public apology in newspaper ads after angry fans vented outrage.  Its also still true that Katz has not publicly ruled out moving the team as a "last resort."  If I were on the City Council I'd call his bluffYour move Daryl!

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