The Edmonton city council is meeting today to discuss the Oilers‘ $601 million arena plan, which has had a $100 million budget hole for almost as long as there’s been an Oilers. And this time, the council appears to be ready to acknowledge that the province of Alberta isn’t going to bail them out with a surprise $100 million check, and instead is looking to “Plan Bs.” Such as, Edmonton Journal columnist David Staples?
To keep moving the project, [Edmonton Mayor Stephen] Mandel will resort to Plan B, pulling together some combination of infrastructure money, new taxes from the arena district development, and possibly an additional contribution from Katz.
Coun. Bryan Anderson says the city doesn’t need $100 million right now, it just needs to cobble together funds from various sources that will cover a $5.75 million annual loan payment. “There will be a plan proposed to produce the capital dollars that are missing.”
I can’t tell if Anderson actually means that the city isn’t going to worry about how to pay off $100 million, but will just worry about how to pay off $5.75 million this year, then figure things out all over again next year, or whether this is just awkward wording by Staples. But if that is what they’re considering, it’s really not likely to end well.