January 23, 2013
Edmonton makes 'absolute deal' to build downtown rink, says mayor

Overview of Edmonton's proposed downtown arena and entertainment district site presented to city council in May 2012. Photo Supplied by City of Edmonton

EDMONTON - The city finally has an 'absolute deal' for a $480 million downtown arena after council voted 10 to three Wednesday in favour of a new framework agreement.

"This is not a 99% deal, this is 100% we have a deal," said Mayor Stephen Mandel following the council meet. "I'm very excited. Without this kind of project we would not be the city we can be."

City hall was a zoo Wednesday morning as Katz Group officials and Edmonton Oilers players arrived to join a packed house in council chambers.

City manager Simon Farbrother presented a report to council detailing three options but recommending they move forward on option A -- a new arena deal similar to the one hashed out back in 2011, but with a few amendments.

"The option recommended guarantees an NHL tenant, shares costs with a private company, and keeps the Oilers in Edmonton for the long term," he told council.