MPs dislike possible use of rink by Oilers, councillor says
Federal MPs do not want taxpayer dollars going towards a new community rink that could be used as practice space by the Edmonton Oilers, according to an Edmonton city councillor.
The $21 million rink will be built next to the new downtown arena.
The city wants funding to be split three ways, with the federal, provincial and municipal governments each contributing $7 million.
But Coun. Mike Nickel said that several MPs have said they don’t want the Oilers to rent practice time if Ottawa contributes funds.
“The community will always say we need more ice time so now the Oilers come in and they rent it ,” he said.
“Who gets what and when and how are questions that need to be asked. Then the question becomes who's subsidizing who."
Coun. Scott McKeen says the community rink should be viewed as a recreation facility for people who live in downtown neighbourhoods.
“We want people to live downtown, we want a much more vibrant downtown and rec facilities would be one of those missing amenities right now,” he said.
If the other levels of government refuse to help, McKeen believes the city should pay the entire tab and start construction.