EDMONTON – Edmonton Oilers Daryl Katz made a rare public appearance at City Hall Tuesday to announce the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the downtown arena project had been met.
The City of Edmonton and the Katz Group announced that the $480 million GMP for the arena had been met.
Construction will begin in March 2014, and the arena is scheduled to open in fall 2016.
“Today is particularly exciting and satisfying,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “This is an exciting day for Edmonton as we move ahead with a project that will help realize our vision of a more vibrant downtown and ensures that the Edmonton Oilers remain a vital part of our city for years to come.”
“Now we turn our attention to putting shovels in the ground next month,” he added.
City Manager Simon Farbrother was on hand to provide the update to media, along with the mayor, several city councillors, and the Oilers owner.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love the Oilers, and I’m very proud to own the team, even now,” said Daryl Katz, speaking at City Hall. “But it was the opportunity to do something great for our city… that motivated me from day one.”
“For the Katz Group and the Edmonton Oilers, we have always believed Edmonton’s need for a new arena was a huge opportunity to help transform our downtown into the vibrant, diverse and dynamic community that is the hallmark of every great city,” said Katz in a news release. “We couldn’t be more excited to see that vision becoming a reality and I want to thank Mayor Iveson, City Council, former Mayor Stephen Mandel, and the entire team at the City and everyone else who has laboured over this project for years for their tenacity and faith in this project.”
Katz also thanked Edmontonians for their patience and for “putting up with me.”
In addition to the $480 million for the arena, the cost was also confirmed through the GMP process for the four other integral components: the community rink, Winter Garden, LRT connection, and pedestrian pedway.
The total price for the arena project is $606.5 million, which includes a $2 million contribution from MacEwan University towards the community rink to increase capacity and improve functionality.
The GMP means that the construction manager bears all risk for any cost increases in labour and materials throughout the project, protecting the City and Katz Group from having to pay more if these costs change.