Bettman, Katz respond to council's decision to end arena negotiations
Daryl Katz releases statement to city council
Published Thursday, October 18, 2012 12:58PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 18, 2012 2:23PM MDT
Gary Bettman and Daryl Katz have responded to city council’s decision to end negotiations with the Katz Group over a new arena.
During a press conference Thursday the NHL commissioner suggested everyone relax.
“I think everybody needs to take a deep breath. The Oilers need a new arena, the city of Edmonton needs a new arena and I’m hopeful that despite the breakdown in negotiations, reason will prevail and we’ll get it to the right place,” said Bettman.
For his part, Daryl Katz said he doesn’t know what to do now that negotiations have stopped.
In a news release on the Oilers website the chairman of the Katz Group responded to the council decision made Wednesday.
"We are concerned about the implications of the motion passed yesterday by City Council. We do not yet have a view on what comes next, but we remain hopeful that there is a solution that achieves the mutual goal of securing the Oilers long-term sustainability in Edmonton,” he wrote.
In a letter to Mayor Stephen Mandel Tuesday Katz stated negotiations are at a standstill because the two sides can’t agree on fifteen outstanding issues.
Mayor Stephen Mandel had invited a representative from the Katz group to attend the Wednesday council meeting to explain what those issues are but no one was present.
A motion was unanimously passed to immediately cease all negotiations with the Katz Group.
Mayor Mandel was on CTV Morning Live on Thursday. “We still have a tenant and the tenant is the Oilers so I’m not sure what the different negotiations would be,” he said.
Councillor Kim Krushell said there is the option of having the city build an arena. “We have other land in the city of Edmonton and we could look at lots of other locations in the downtown,” she stated.
The door is still open for the Katz Group. City bureaucrats will spend the next two weeks drawing up a list of possible next steps. That could include starting negotiations again.
Mayor Mandel says council will work to find a way to keep the team in the city.
“We all value the Oilers, we all want to keep them in a successful franchise," he said.