Saturday, May 05, 2007


I Want A New Drug

Edmonton billionaire (we have billionaires?) Daryl Katz is looking to buy the Oilers. From defender-of the-impoverished Gary Lamphier:

It's unknown why Katz made his move now. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel recently struck a committee to explore the idea of building a new downtown arena to replace aging Rexall Place where the team plays, but it has barely begun its work. The Oilers' existing lease at Rexall doesn't expire until 2014.

This strikes me as hilarious. Is Lamphier unable to see the connection here, or is he just being coy? The value of the team would go up as soon as an arena deal was announced, let alone built. It makes sense to get in beforehand, especially if he has his own ideas on what should be done concerning the arena.

I'm fine with this, although I can't see some of the current owners, Nichols in particular, walking away from it all. My early guess is Katz would become majority owner at best. We'll see. I'd be interested in knowing his thoughts on ownership, management, metrics, arena financing etc., too. Thanks to Alex for the link. Tyler has a post up on it as well.

***Bonus House Design Critique***

Lamphier has some good info on Katz himself in the story, including the fact that it is Katz who is building that monstrosity of a mansion overlooking Hawrelak Park.

Where does he live? Last year, contractors were busily constructing a massive mansion for Katz on the west bank of the North Saskatchewan River, facing Hawrelak Park. The value of the champagne titanium-clad home with its two swimming pools and 11 bathrooms is estimated at $20 million. It is approximately 25,000 square feet in size. The ice surface of Rexall Place, named after Katz's flagship drugstore chain, measures 17,000 square feet.

Put that down as a strike against Katz. That thing is a blight on the landscape. You are worth $1.9 billion, and you can't afford something that isn't ugly and totally invasive? Ever hear of red brick? Yeesh. It looks like something Donald Trump would build. Gaudyyyyyy...

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While we're on the subject, how about this quote:

As for Katz, the source said he "understands" that a new downtown arena funded strictly by the taxpayer is a non-starter and his participation in fundraising may be necessary.

Who the fuck has ever said "funded strictly by the taxpayers" in this whole debate? Why is this being brought up? And how long before Gary Lamphier writes his editorial about why we should foot the whole bill?

Every bit of sunshine has a shitty lining when it comes to Oilers management, it seems.

I always laugh when anyone brags about the number of bathrooms they have. What, they have problems with incontinence and can't go 20 feet without peeing their pants?

All the money in the world can't buy taste, but it would be nice if they would spend on a design consultant or something to avoid McMansion monstrosities.

Are you kidding? I think that house is pretty damn amazing. It's the last thing from McMansion I've ever seen. If you're going to spend 20 million on a house, I don't think it could've been better.

Apparently Shawn Ohler is working on a Journal article about the Katz residence.

That post is a year old, so you can probably find the article in the Journal archive somewhere.

This is certainly an interesting development. I don't know much about Mr. Katz, but the current ownership make me feel so dirty that I can't help feeling that he'd be a step up at worst.

Maybe we can tear down that mansion and put the new arena there. There could even be an observation deck for looking at Hawrelak Park.

Were I witty, I would somehow make a joke about ducks in Hawrelak Park, the Anaheim Ducks, and Chris F. Pronger.

- Mustafa Hirji

Shiny new things can still be huge fuckin eyesores.

I love how Nichols basically insinuated today that the EIG would be more effective at swindling a new arena out of city council than Katz. That was pure gold.

The best part of this whole thing is that any reasonable person has to realize that the Oilers make big dollars. The EIG aren't ekeing out an existence while living in vans down by the river just to keep this team afloat.

They just turned down an offer that would have turned a 1998 investment of US$35MM into a 2007 windfall of US$132MM. Heck yeah they're making money. They're also confident that taxpayers will subsidize their ability to make more money.

I bet the Journal and Sun don't touch that angle with a 10-foot pole. Anyone here dumb enough to take the that bet?


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