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The missing $107-million in funding for the downtown arena complex won't be coming from the province or any new lottery. Those remarks came from Premier Alison Redford this week and once city councillor isn't surprised.
Councillor Kerry Diotte tells iNews880 the province has said all along that the extra money won't be provided.
"That has been there stand and I think the only thing to do now is find a plan "b" and it is alarming that we don't have a plan "b." explains Diotte. "I would suggest in this case if it is to go ahead it would have to be money from the Katz group."
Diotte says not having plan "b" is definitely not the way he'd do things.
"There is no plan "b" even though the province has consistently said it won't give money so now I guess it is time to go to the Katz Group and see if there is money there because they are going to be the main beneficiary of the arena," explains Diotte.
Councillor Bryan Anderson is much more optimistic though.
"I believe we'll simply have to wait for additional comments from the Mayor and we'll have to wait for the budget and Minister Horner to make public whatever will happen," explains Anderson. "I'm still hopeful."
If things don't pan out for the province chipping in the money Diotte thinks there are some other options.
"I've been saying for quite some time now with the naming rights it is something that this city should retain," explains Diotte. "The city is building the arena and we should have a right to name it and make the money from that name. In other markets that could be worth $100-million, indeed in this market it is probably worth about $100-million over 35 years."
Diotte says he thinks a downtown arena district is a great idea, but he wants it to be worth the money and the remarks by Redford put a big obstacle in the projects way.
"Well I guess we'll have to see what the next steps are because the province has been pretty clear here," explains Diotte. "We've got to definitely start looking at other avenues and I don't think there any appetite from the local taxpayers of Edmonton to kick in even more money into this deal."
Anderson says Mandel may still have an ace up his sleeve.
"We will see he seems to have a reasonable line of communication with government decision makers and we'll hope that continues," adds Anderson.
Anderson says the provincial budget will be released on March 7th and more may come to light about the funding at that time.
Diotte wants to know what you think about the downtown arena project. He hopes you'll visit his website and fill out a quick survey on the subject. (twd)
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Diotte arena survey
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