Friday, December 22, 2006

 

Let It No, Let It No, Let It No

Mayor Stephen Mandel says he would support a proposal to build a new hockey arena in downtown Edmonton that could be part of a $1-billion development.
--Gordon Kent, Edmonton Journal


To be fair, Mandel does say "if we do (build a new structure), we need to be creative and not burden the taxpayers," but I have a feeling he and I have different ideas about what is meant by "burden." I'm of the "don't burden me with anything considering you can't even plough our streets properly with the money we give you" variety, for example, whereas he might be of the "it's only a burden of a few hundred million" variety.

It has been stated on this site, ad nauseum, that taxpayers should not be asked to foot the bill for new stadiums for the Oilers or Flames. Nor is there a need to move locations for any new stadium being built in Edmonton. But since it apparently hasn't gotten through to anyone at City Hall or the Legislature, let me repeat our objections, as well as the objections of some others.

No.

No.

No.

No.

No.

No.

No.


Update: Mike and Tyler weigh in at Covered In Oil and mc79hockey.

Labels:


Comments:

Hear, hear.
 


Ok, what is the problem here folks. Rexall is not getting any newer, the ice system needs work. The place is in the ghetto of Edmonton last time I was there anyway. If the Government want to chip in great, it is an asset for them to recover costs with the other public events. Look at what the little playoff run generated in revenue with Hotels and Bars. If the Oilers decide to go it alone, then they will get the revenue from the building and parking. The Governments would waive the taxes on the building for 20 years or something like that. So either you can have have cost fixed up front or you can have it the back where there is no hard number. Calgary mayor pissed away 15 M on his last redevelopment project after he dropped the ball... although I see that he has got the crack dealers moved from city hall by a whole 100 yards. Both cities have issues and maybe with all the moaning and groaning going on maybe Eddie is going to throw the Cities a bone in the form the 2 new arenas weirder shit has happened in this province. Go Oilers.....
 


No no no no no no no no no
No no no no no no no no
No no no no no no no no
No no no no no

Nobody can do
The shing-a-ling!
Like I do!
 


I don't object.
 


Won't happen. Taxpayers can't afford the bill for baby Sacamano (okay, and baby Macndub) and hockey stadiums. Cities have no tax base in Canada, not like the Great Satan, so it means begging to the province. And I'd love to see the premier from Vegreville support a new hockey stadium on some pretty frickin expensive downtown land.

It won't happen. The Holes are rich enough and don't need our help, and the normally pathetic Canadian envy of the rich will, in this case, have the socially positive effect of preventing more handouts to them.
 


Swabbubbua, you are cordially disinvited from ever coming on to my side of the river if you don't like the Coliseum's neighborhood. Watch the game from your mom's basement. Nobody over the age of 18 believes sports teams generate any unique revenue. It's redirected spending. All independent studies have shown this to be so. In a time of prosperity, the City of Edmonton is raising municipal taxes nearly 10% while claiming not to have enough money to plough roads. If the millionaires who own the Oilers are unhappy with their investment - SELL IT.
 


Nice job distorting things Art...

Redirected spending, sure. But from where? Are you seriously saying that every dollar spent in E-town last spring would have been spent in E-town without the playoff run? Not a chance. Sure, the money would have been spent elsewhere. Funny thing is, "elsewhere" doesn't necessarily include Edmonton.

Speaking of the city name, how often would Edmonton be mentioned in news articles without the Oilers? Ask Winnipeg. That's gotta be worth something.

Also, there's a definite quality of life aspect to having an NHL team and an arena.

Tax dollars shouldn't be completely out of the question. Particularly provincial dollars.

OK, specific distortions:
#1.Nobody over the age of 18 believes sports teams generate any unique revenue. It's redirected spending. All independent studies have shown this to be so.

Nice try, but the study quoted by Avi on SportsMatters finding that "independent economic studies universally find such benefits to be much smaller than claimed." In no way does that equate to non-existent. Of note, in the same paragraph, they also say:"A strong case can be made, however, that the quality-of-life benefits from hosting a major league team can sometimes justify the large public outlays associated with doing so."

#2.10% tax hike
Uh, even Mike Nichol, using his funny math, says it's 6.5%. Apparently the real increase is 5%. Neither figure is all that close to 10%.

#3.SELL IT
Are you saying someone else will buy the team and keep it here?

As for plowing streets, wow. Yes, there was a lot of snow, and it should be plowed. Apparently they thought more was on the way, so held off. It's a big city, so it takes long enough, even when they get started right away. Tack on the labour crunch, and the fact private parking lots pay more for snow removal, and it takes even longer. It's the price we pay for a strong economy. Get over it.

Taxes are going up 5% because of the economy too. Already mentioned the size of the city. Well, it's growing. Already mentioned the tight labour market. Costs are up, hence they have to hike taxes (unless the province can help...). I'll take the problems here over declining populations, like say Saskatchewan (where I hear they like hockey too).

Besides, a 5% tax hike is a pittance compared to the jump in home prices. Homeowners don't have much to complain about.

When did they anyone say the city had run out of money? Simply that the money allocated for the snow removal budget was already gone. It happens. Some years it doesn't snow much, and they're under budget. This calendar year, plenty o' snow.

About the only thing that's gone up as fast as house prices in Edmonton is the level of whining. Habit for Humanity project? Not in my neighbourhood! Housing project--not low-income housing--on unused school property to help first time home buyers? Not in my neighbourhood!

In the same vein, why aren't my roads cleared yet? All I know is, it's the price we pay to live in Edmonton. Snow once in a while. Suck it up people. Beats the weather problems some others are dealing with (say, the west coast, or Denver). I'm getting tired of the whining that's cropped up in Edmonton recently. Obviously the city has it pretty good when the #1 concern is snow plowing. Let's stop for second and realize that.

Anyway, back on point... Tax dollars shouldn't be completely out of the question for an arena. There's room for the province to step up. There's definitely room to get creative. Like some of the ideas I mentioned here (towards the end of my post). There's a way to make this work. Simply saying "No" is the easy answer. Recognizing that something will have to be done eventually is much more proactive.
 


Rod, so it's 5%. It's still a tax hike and Edmonton should still be prepared to remove snow and it can't even do that much.
But since you're offended by my imprecise use of figures, I eagerly await your quantifying the economic benefits of having an NHL team in town, without or without the corporate welfare component.
It doesn't matter to me whether someone buys the team and moves it. I want the market to decide and I do not want any level of government coercing me into giving money to millionaires.
As for that HforH housing project; if you're talking about the one in Beverly, you'd know from the last public meeting that pigs will fly when that proposal gets greenlighted. I look forward to volunteering for their next do-gooder crack-shack construction project when the lot down the street from your place is re-zoned for 48 multi-welfare housing units.
 


Art, you're at it again.

It's still a tax hike and Edmonton should still be prepared to remove snow and it can't even do that much.
Yeah, it's a tax hike. *Half* the size of the one you've been railing on in multiple posts. So I'm not bickering about a scant difference.

"Be prepared" to remove the snow. Nice thought, but what's the suggestion? Where's the details? Are you suggesting the city have staff and equipment on standby to clear the entire city in a matter of a few days? Even when it's triple the average snowfall for a particular month? That the city raise the amount they pay contractors? Your increase will be way more than 5%. "Be prepared" is nothing more than a sound-bite, so that's another distortion.

I eagerly await your quantifying the economic benefits of having an NHL team in town

While I don't have the specific economic impact of an NHL team, it is not *zero*. That's the point.

Also not zero is the quality of life impact on a city.

Governments are involved in supporting those kinds of things, so tax payer money shouldn't be automatically out of the question. Nor should they foot the entire bill.

There's room for creative solutions. Finding that solution is the difficult part. Takes a lot more imagination and effort than simply saying "No".

It doesn't matter to me whether someone buys the team and moves it.
Matters to me, and lots of other people I know.

I want the market to decide and I do not want any level of government coercing me into giving money to millionaires.
OK, then you lose that tax base (unless you're saying the players would move elsewhere in Alberta). They pay taxes last time I checked. You also lose the spin-off economic benefit. Yeah, studies have generally/universally shown it's not as high as claimed. But it's not *zero*. So you lose that. And the quality of life boost is also gone. Winter in Edmonton without NHL hockey... Yeah. Nice. The Oil Kings would be a sufficient replacement...

Your last distortion takes the cake...
As for that HforH housing project; if you're talking about the one in Beverly, you'd know from the last public meeting that pigs will fly when that proposal gets greenlighted.
Yeah, that's the Habitat for Humanity project I was talking about. At least the NIMBY whining that ensued...and you've perpetuated.

I look forward to volunteering for their next do-gooder crack-shack construction project when the lot down the street from your place is re-zoned for 48 multi-welfare housing units.
Perhaps affordable housing is something you take for granted, but you don't have to be on welfare for affordable housing to be out of reach in Edmonton (especially how prices have skyrocketed the last couple years).

Habitat gets creative, and people shoot it down, throwing around all sorts of scare tactics and fear mongering about crime, welfare, etc. (even flippant terms like "crack-shack"). If that wasn't bad enough, when council gets creative with proposed re-zoning of unused school land, similar whining erupts.

When did this city become so detached from working people unable to afford housing? It's easy to throw insults at the plans others make. What's your solution? (OK, this isn't the right venue--this is a hockey blog...). I was reacting to the level of whining in this city lately, from affordable housing ideas to snow removal, this city it turning into a whine-fest.


As for a new arena, you have no solution because you don't care if the team leaves. Fine. That's your prerogative. I'm simply suggesting that taxpayer money--in the right creative solution--has it's place. Once the distortions are removed.
 


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