Barely a month after the Edmonton city council agreed to reopen talks with Oilers owner Daryl Katz about a publicly subsidized $475 million arena, Mayor Stephen Mandel reportedly reached agreement on a general framework of a deal in a Friday meeting with Katz and NHL
owner commissioner Gary Bettman. No details are available yet; specifics are set to be released on Wednesday.
Of course, it was the Edmonton council that called a halt to the deal last time, while Mandel has been the project’s biggest booster. And there’s still the problem that presumably any arena funding plan will include that $100 million from the province that the province doesn’t want to provide.
Still, given that the main council objections to Katz’s plan last fall were less that he was asking for bucketloads of money than that he wouldn’t settle on a number for how many bucketloads he wanted, it’s fair to say that the Oilers arena plan is back from the dead, if still not out of the woods entirely. Which just goes to show that time heals all wounds even faster than I thought.