Tuesday, September 25, 2012

From Edmonton To Evergreen??

Daryl Katz knows what he's doing. He's doing the same thing that Mario Lemieux did during the Penguins venture for a new arena, and seeing as it worked out in Pittsburgh-- it's bound to happen in Edmonton, right??

Of course, what I'm talking about is the other crazy news out of Seattle that didn't include a touchdown/interception to end a football game. Katz and other members of the Edmonton Oilers brass went to meet with the particulars involved in the new arena in the Seattle area which will try to house a NBA and possible NHL team. This is after Katz and the Edmonton city council have been at loggerheads when it comes to the funding of this mini-city that Katz has proposed.

While the Edmonton mayor has said that the deal could be sunk by the drop-dead date of October 17th, that isn't stopping Katz from grandstanding and visiting cities that may be interested in a new tenant. You can bet that the Oilers stop in Quebec City informally a while back didn't hurt his cause either. These are cities that have been in serious consideration for getting a relocated hockey team in to their area.

Even though the odds of this happen are quite slim in the end, the fact that the Oilers have taken to Twitter to voice the fact they need a new arena in order to stay is something that has made the management team kind of fall out of favor with the fans because the Oilers are asking for more of their money. Though, you have to wonder how much that will change with Katz venturing around to other locales in order to actually gauge the interest of places elsewhere and could have new buildings when the Oilers' lease runs out in 2014.

Katz is playing the game to maybe force the hand of city council to push it through lest their beloved Oilers leave town. As a businessman, Katz knows the game and is definitely someone who could be able to sway things in his favor-- whether it be in Edmonton or elsewhere.

As it plays out, you can only imagine the leverage that Katz will have, especially since the want for relocated teams are at a pretty steady margin and probably will be out there until all the arenas are filled that need to be filled. Katz knows how much other cities could want a team and would be footing the bill, rather than him, for an arena that will be leaps and bounds ahead of the Rexall Place that is standing there now.

Of course, the fans will be upset should the Oilers actually leave rather than bluffing. The history of the team is one of the best in the NHL and have produced the many superstars along the way. Should they actually leave-- it'd be a big hit for the league, the city of Edmonton, and show the true state of franchise loyalty in cities that were thought to be untouchable.

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