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Edmonton Oilers: What's the Hold Up on the New Arena?

Gary Bettman and Daryl Katz are public enemies No. one and two in Edmonton these days.
Gary Bettman and Daryl Katz are public enemies No. one and two in Edmonton these days.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Adam BowenContributor IIIDecember 27, 2012

When the Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz and the city of Edmonton agreed to a framework for a new arena last year, it seemed as if it would only be a matter of time before the team would be playing in a new facility downtown.

Discussions have broken down since then, thanks in large part to demands made by the Oilers billionaire owner. He has been calling for $6 million in subsidies as well as other various changes to the original deal. 

Unfortunately, this isn't the only stumbling block currently preventing the new arena from being erected in downtown Edmonton. 

Even under the original agreement between the Oilers and the city, the two parties were approximately $100 million dollars short of the proposed $450 million overall cost, and it has been made clear by the Provincial Government of Alberta that no provincial funding will be given. 

The  total construction cost of the iconic new arena will continue to rise as the two parties stumble to close the deal.

During the whole process, Katz has suffered a monumental collapse in public opinion. 

Once hailed as a hero and a savior when he purchased the team in 2007, Katz has begun to look like a villain as the negotiations have stalled.

The team's future in Edmonton has also come into question, something that Katz swore would never be the case when he took ownership of the team.

An ill-timed trip to Seattle served as a poor negotiating tactic and helped fuel the debate as to whether or not Katz intends to move the team if the Oilers don't get a new arena.

Earlier this month, the Oilers ownership group and the city of Edmonton met for the first time in nearly 18 months and agreed to resume discussions with help of an appointed mediator and financial analyst. 

Hopefully this is a sign that the two parties are ready to sit down and agree to finally get the arena deal done, but only time will tell. 

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