Thursday, March 27, 2008


An Arena Response: Letter #2

"Make it a shrine" -Kevin Lowe

Dear Mr. Lowe,

We already have a hockey shrine in Edmonton. It's called the Northlands Coliseum. You might remember it. You won five Stanley Cups there.

An arena without a history of accomplishment is not a shrine. It's a mall with seats.


Andy Grabia



A shrine? Something like SkyDome maybe??

James Gunner

But fucking with historically significant areas is what World Class Citiesdo.

I watched the Oil win their first cups with my wife at Northlands. I watched the 06 run with my wife and 2 kids at Northlands/Rexall. I would love to watch another cup or two with my grandkids in the same shrine.

Assuming it's accurate that we either need a) a new building or b) enhancements to Rexall by the time the current lease expires, it looks like city funding will be needed either way. Let's say they decided against a new facility and put the estimated 250 million into Rexall. Would those opposed to city funding for a new building feel any better about city funding going toward Rexall Place upgrades? Not to insult anyone's intelligence but keep in mind, Darryl Katz doesn't and will not own our current building if scenario b were to happen....

The way I see it, either way the city is involved and spending money, which many seem to be against. What other realistic scenarios are there?

Would those opposed to city funding for a new building feel any better about city funding going toward Rexall Place upgrades?

a) The answer is yes, because I don't want to destroy Rexall Place (Wacky! Crazy!). b) Where in the feasibility report is your $250 million estimate? The report says that maintenance and required facility upgrades for Rexall are thought to require "tens of millions of dollars" (over a 15-year period).

Colby, the 250 million figure has been around for over a year. Hopefully, inflation isn't a factor here:

I think the last part of the link was cut off:

“Our report outlines what would have to be done to make Rexall Place a modern arena by
increasing the public areas and making it a much more comfortable and enjoyable environment
for patrons,” says Rick Martin, Senior Principal, HOK Sport. “It also addresses adding space
‘back of house’ to improve the experience for the many athletes, performers and their support
personnel who make the games and shows possible. We worked on a conceptual budget with the
valued assistance of PCL Construction Management Inc. and estimate that the construction costs
would range from $225 to $250 million with a three to four year window of construction during
the off-season.”

So these aren't required upgrades. They're what it would cost to have our Rexall cake and a "modern arena" with more space backstage for Jon Bon Jovi. Smells like a red herring to me.

(Also, can we see this HOK report and find out what exactly we'd be paying a quarter-mil for? Did you somehow snag a copy?)

It's pointless to argue whether the upgrades are considered necessary to us or not.

Doing things because everone else does isn't a good reason to do a lot of things in life. However, in professional sports, it's as strong a reason as any. Looking around at all the professional venues of the 4 major sports is a pretty overwhelming example of this. We either follow suit or see our team go somewhere that will.

As for the changes, I'd assume they'd rip out the third level and put more skyboxes on that side to mirror the player's box side. They'd need to add more seating as a result and this would only be possible at either end of the building. Maybe you're in construction, maybe not. I am and can't see this being a cheap or simple project... Of course, that's just my guess but reading into what was available to you and I, that sounds like the direction they'd go.

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