The city of Edmonton may still be between $50 million and $130 million short on being able to pay for a new Oilers arena, but that’s not going to stop them from breaking ground:
Edmonton’s downtown arena is on course to meet its $480-million construction cost and should be ready to start construction in March, city manager Simon Farbrother says.
“I would say we’re very close to the end,” he said Thursday.
It sounds like Oilers and city representatives have been working with contractors to ensure that the project won’t bust its $480 million budget ($605 million counting land and infrastructure), which would leave it just $50 million short, plus however much the city will end up needing to dig in its pockets for if the local Community Revitalization Levy (aka a Canadian TIF) only produces the amount of revenue the city expected in the first place, and not the amount it decided to project when it suddenly realized it had a funding hole to fill.
The city is apparently still hoping to apply to the province for funds for at least another $25 million — which has never worked before, but can’t hurt to keep asking, right? — but if it doesn’t get it, it can always shuffle some money around and figure it out later. Because that’s worked out so great elsewhere.