Mayor Stephen Mandel provided the following statement today on issues related to the proposed downtown arena and entertainment district. This coming after a candid interview with Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz ran in the morning edition of the Edmonton Journal.
Edmonton - September 18, 2012 - Mayor Stephen Mandel provided the following statement today on issues related to the proposed downtown arena and entertainment district.
Edmontonians, City Council and myself, personally, have been strong and patient proponents of the prospects of a downtown arena and entertainment district and the potential it represents for our City as a thriving, storied, successful and competitive NHL market.
Unfortunately, we have now hit a significant crossroad, one which must be overcome if we are to move the deal forward.
On the Katz Group’s questions regarding what was presented to Council, I can assure the public and the Katz Group that our September 12, 2012 discussions were thorough and complete. The full substance of these discussions was kept in private as part of the negotiations process.
Based on the significant material changes proposed by the Katz Group, and the fact that the City’s negotiating team has not been able to complete sufficient due diligence to affirm the economic claims of the Katz Group, Council had no choice but to say no to its request at our September 12, 2012 meeting.
I would openly ask the Katz Group to release their full position to the public - based on the itemized list which was prepared with both the negotiating teams, so that all items and their economic rationale can be fully understood by the people of Edmonton.
What will be clear if the Katz Group agrees to reveal its position is that there are many specific asks which move well beyond the scope of the approved framework, which was based upon negotiations that resulted in Council’s October 26, 2011 motion. I would remind the Katz Group that they had full knowledge of Council’s motion and have had more than a year to raise issues.
The only way forward is for the Katz Group to clarify its full position, with associated rationale so City Council and the people of Edmonton can understand the full picture.
I would therefore invite the Katz Group to attend to City Council at the earliest possible opportunity.
Failing this clarification, what is clear is that the City cannot continue indefinitely without full consideration of its position.
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