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Katz Group submits request to appear before city council
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Monday, December 10, 2012 5:53PM MST
Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 6:47PM MST
The Katz Group is ready to re-open downtown arena negotiations with the city, as company officials have asked to appear before city council later this week.
An official with the Katz Group said the company wasn’t invited by council to appear, but it’s hoped it will help kick start negotiations with the city again.
The company has been scheduled to speak at Wednesday’s city council meeting – when an update on the downtown arena project was already scheduled for that day.
Two councillors CTV News spoke to Monday said they hope the relationship between the city and the Katz Group improves – but councillors will stand their ground.
“They can’t bully us that we’re not just going to sit and take it, that we care about Edmonton, and yes we want to have a new arena, but we’re also prepared to go the distance,” Councillor Kim Krushell said.
“If they’re coming I hope they come back with a sensible proposal to support the arena,” Councillor Amarjeet Sohi said.
In October, councillors voted to stop negotiations with the Katz Group on the downtown arena, deciding a deal on the project was not sensible – after the two sides had gone back and forth over the proposed $450 million budget for the facility.
At the time, the Katz Group had been pushing the city to contribute an extra $6 million per year in an operating subsidy.
While the appearance before council has sparked speculation on what could happen next with the downtown arena, the mayor is warning Edmontonians not to jump to any conclusions.
“This isn’t about winning or losing, this is about Edmonton, about building a better city, a better downtown, long term stability for hockey, if that’s what ends up happening,” Mayor Stephen Mandel said. “Let’s not just to conclusions that anything is going to be finalized by tomorrow.”
With files from Serena Mah
Exterior aerial view of the proposed downtown arena at night from the south. Supplied.