Latest Videos from CTV Edmonton
Katz looks to take control of Hamilton arena
Published Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:18PM MDT
The owner of the Edmonton Oilers Daryl Katz is working on a deal to take control of Copps Coliseum and Pan Am Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario.
President of the Edmonton Oilers Patrick LaForge made the trip out to Hamilton Tuesday to discuss a non-binding memorandum of agreement with council. This deal could potentially lead to a licence to operate both Copps Coliseum and the yet to be built Pan Am Sports Stadium.
CTV News has learned AEG, an American consultant group helping the Katz Group put together the arena district design here in Edmonton, also spoke with councillors Tuesday. The group has also commissioned a survey in Hamilton on the viability of an NHL team in that city.
Reports say the goal for the Katz Group right now seems to be taking control of the potential arrival of a relocated or expanded NHL team. There are suggestions this might also be an attempt to put pressure on the Alberta government to support a new arena in Edmonton's downtown core.
Here at home, city council has anxiously been awaiting a meeting with the Katz Group. Some councillors says they were surprised to hear that Katz may be exploring business options elsewhere.
"[I'm] a bit disappointed but he certainly has every right to explore other options," said City Coun. Jane Batty.
Mayor Stephen Mandel doesn't see the recent actions in Hamilton affecting any talks of the proposed downtown arena.
"If it's an issue that impacts the City of Edmonton in some way they will contact us," said Mandel.
LaForge admits the optics are horrible, but proceedings in Hamilton is just about business as the group looks to expand its entertainment holdings.
"This is not about Edmonton, this is not about the Oilers, this is about Hamilton," he told media Tuesday afternoon.
A consultant for the proposed downtown arena project, Mark Rosentraub tells CTV News if the Katz Group wants to be a big player in the entertainment business they have to branch out and land licencing and operating deals in other major cities in Canada.
With files from Kevin Armstrong