The Edmonton City Council has voted to cease negotiations with Oilers owner Daryl Katz and the Katz Group, according to Dan Tencer of Inside Sports. The negotiations were in regard to a new arena in downtown Edmonton, with the team threatening possible relocation if a more favorable deal is not reached.
The city and the ownership group had already come to an agreement on the financials involved in the building and operation of the arena, with Daryl Katz stating last month that the he needs a better agreement in order to properly operate the new arena.
As it stood, Katz was set to not spend any money on the arena. Instead, the arena would be paid for by loan taken out by the city and paid back by Katz. In addition, Katz would receive revenue from the building 48 weeks out of the year, compared to solely on hockey nights as is currently the case with Rexall Place.
This would also not be the case if the franchise were to move to a new city.
Many feel the threat of relocation was merely a ruse to put pressure on the city to acquiesce to the demands of the Katz Group, even though Daryl Katz and others from the Oilers leadership group took part in a very public trip to Seattle in September. At the time, the Katz Group released a statement that they had been fielding offers from a number of potential NHL markets for some time.
The contract for the use of Rexall Place is not up for another 24 months, leaving open the possibility of future negotiations.