Edmonton needs a new hockey arena about as much as an elephant needs that desperately sexy pair of high heels. Before breaking metaphorical language any further, lets look at the price tag for this boondoggle in waiting. Thanks to the Edmonton Journal for the numbers.
All in, $601 million. That breaks down as:
- Arena construction, $480 million
- Winter Garden pedestrian bridge across 104th Avenue, $53 million
- Arena land, $25 million
- Community rink attached to arena, $21 million
- Pedestrian corridor through the arena, $15 million
- Link to MacEwan LRT station, $7 million
$601 million so we can have rubber disk chasing in our downtown core. I know I am terribly excited over the entire notion. What is even more exciting is who gets to pay for these shiny new elephantine high-heels.
- The city: $219 million ($140 million for the arena, $25 million for the Winter Garden, $25 million for the land, $15 million for the pedestrian corridor, $7 million for the LRT and $7 million for the community rink).
- Katz Group: $143 million ($115 million for the arena, $28 million for Winter Garden).
- Ticket buyers, through a surcharge: $125 million.
- The province: $107 million ($100 million for arena, $7 million for community rink).
- The feds: $7 million for rink.
What is interesting to me, and by “interesting” I mean peeved, is that I fall into three categories that are donating to the Rubber Disk Arena construction fund. I reside in Edmonton and thus pay municipal taxes, Edmonton also happens to be in Alberta thus I pay provincial tax aaaaaand Alberta happens to be in Canada and ‘Lo I also pay federal taxes.
Therefore, I get to pay $335 million while the dude that owns the team chips in $143 million to build a house for his team and he will get to keep all the revenue generated once the Rubber Disk Arena is built. I need to get on the same plan as the Edmonton Oilers Owner; you know the one where you get to use public money to take the majority of risk and build stuff that will make me money once its built.
As the person indirectly responsible for funding this bedazzling misadventure, it would be sensical to point out that if private industry wants to build a new Rubber Disk Chasing Emporium, they should damn well pay for it themselves and not expect the public to fund their private ventures.
(ed. Very proud not to have used the words “fucking insane waste of public money” in this article.)