Officials with the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Oilers announced Tuesday that the downtown arena project had been given the green light, and work was expected to begin in March – after the Guaranteed Maximum Price was met.

Mayor Don Iveson, Oiler’s owner Daryl Katz and City Manager Simon Farbrother were on hand for Tuesday’s announcement – where Farbrother confirmed the GMP for the arena alone, dubbed Rogers Place, had been met at $480 million.

The entire project, including the cost of the land, the winter garden, pedestrian corridor, LRT and community rink is now slated to cost $606.5 million – which also includes a $2 million contribution from Macewan University, the city said the extra money would go to increase capacity for the community rink, and improve the facility.

The city said the GMP process means the construction manager will bear all risk for any cost increases in labour and materials through the project – the City and the Katz Group will not have to pay more of the costs of the project change.

Last year, City Council approved an estimated price for the project that totaled $604.5 million – with $480 million for the arena, $56.5 million for a winter garden, $25 million for the land, and the other $43 million going towards the pedestrian corridor, LRT and community rink.

Rogers Place is expected to be completed and open by the fall of 2016, in time for the NHL season – the facility is expected to include 18,641 seats.

PCL Construction was hired as the pre-construction manager for the GMP – and has become the construction manager for the arena project, ICON Venue Group is still the project manager.

With files from Veronica Jubinville