Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz is willing to put in “no less than $400 million” of his own cash to build a new downtown arena, he admitted in a rare public appearance in front of city council Wednesday.
“If that’s what it takes to put this project forward, then I will do that,” said Katz, with his son and his wife sitting behind him.
“We have a great opportunity to do something significant here for all Edmontonians.”
The owner reneged on his promise to invest $100 million to build the new rink, and another $100 million to add new developments around the new home for the Oilers.
The Katz Group and city administrators say building the rink is financially possible by charging fans a five-dollar surcharge, as well as creating a tax levy zone around the new building.
But some city councilors, including Coun. Don Iveson, say the city could be on the hook for footing the bill if there are no tenants in the levy zone.
City administrators and the Katz Group say building a new rink in the city’s downtown will cost up to $450 million in construction costs.
A study by Northlands says modernizing Rexall Place would cost roughly $200 million — roughly $50 million less than another study Northlands did back in 2007. The Oilers 10-year lease at Rexall Place will end in 2014.