Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dub Arena for Edmonton?

I know this is probably stale news for most who have been following the Oilers arena debate in Edmonton, but it's worth revisiting regardless.

Renowned Edmonton architect Gene Dub has created a design and potential location for a new arena for the Edmonton Oilers. He made his design public late last month with a presentation to Edmonton City Council. A video of his design can be watched below...



The Edmonton Journal's Todd Babiak has his take on it in today's paper.

Some people were a bit shocked by it (both the design and the timing of the presentation). In fact, many City Councillors were unprepared to respond and discuss the design. This, is a very, very good sign.

No, it's not that I care whether a new arena is built for the Edmonton Oilers. Although, I attend a few games each year and find the current arena suitable. Yes, I've been in newer, fancier arenas (like the ACC in Toronto and the Staples Center in LA), but I've also been in much worse arenas (like The Palace in Auburn Hills where the Detroit Pistons play). But, again, I don't care whether or not a new arena is built, what I care about is whether taxpayers are footing the bill.

If Daryl Katz or others want to plunk down $5-bil to build a new arena hovering in the clouds made out of diamonds and shaped like a giant pill bottle, they should go right ahead. Katz owns the team, he should be able to tell them where they can play.

The City Council should have very little say over the matter. Of course, because of the LRT and buses that may assist in getting people to the new arena, the city should be open to dialogue about the location, but that's it.

So, it is very encouraging that they were not privy to Mr. Dub's plans, and hopefully they are not privy to Mr. Katz's plans yet either.

The less involvement the City Council has with these people the better for taxpayers.

Oh, and just to weigh in on Mr. Dub's design, I think it looks very cool. And for $300-mil, Katz should jump on it. But nobody should listen to me, I'm not paying for this thing... yet.

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