Archive | January, 2011

Degrading The Brand

19 Jan

“We might not like to hear such a statement, we might hate the notion of the Oilers leaving Edmonton, and a vocal minority certainly detests the idea of any public money going to a new downtown arena. Nonetheless, the Katz Group’s position is rational and reasonable.”

Emphasis is mine.

That’s columnist David Staples in today’s Edmonton Journal. Turns out the Katz Group doesn’t need to threaten relocation. David will do the dirty work for them.

Interestingly, here’s David Staples on Twitter on December 1st, 2010.

“If the Katz Group really wants to move the #Oilers to Quebec City, good riddance. http://bit.ly/hlnxVq

Also from December 1st, 2010.

“If this is true, the OIlers and Katz Group better give their heads a shake. http://bit.ly/hlnxVq They can shove their Pocklington tactics.”

And more from December 1st, 2010

“The more the Oilers play this move-the-team card about moving the team, the more they remind me of Pocklington, the colder I get to any plan to build a new arena for them in Edmonton. It’s not a good notion to push, I would suggest. It degrades their brand.”

Apparently David isn’t keen on applying that same logic to himself.

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**Update** It appears that Oilers President and CEO Patrick LaForge was in Hamilton last week for a secret meeting with some city councillors. The Hamilton Spectator is reporting that LaForge was there “to talk about the NHL, HECFI, and the Pan Am stadium.” Apparently there’s an NHL subcommittee in Hamilton, and LaForge was meeting with members of that group. Impeccable timing by the Katz Group, really. Right as Edmonton City Council is meeting to discuss the use of a Community Revitalization Levy, and approves your zoning application, you’ve got your team president having secret meetings in a city dying for an NHL franchise.



Money For Nothing

15 Jan

I was happy to have a chance to talk about the downtown arena, and in particular some of the questions asked in the City of Edmonton’s recent poll of Edmontontians, on the Rob Breakenridge show tonight. Audio is here.