Hockey great Wayne Gretzky says he will be sorry to see the end of Rexall Place, the arena where he spent nine years playing for Edmonton Oilers.

“I love this building,” Gretzky told reporters last night in Edmonton. “I have so many great memories here … I think of Edmonton and this arena. It’s a special place.”

Construction started Monday on the new downtown arena, which is slated for completion by September 2016.

The Oilers will start playing there for the 2016-17 NHL season.

Gretzky says times are changing and the new arena will be great -- but he admits that he will miss Rexall Place, which was known as the Coliseum in his Oilers days.

“I’ll be one of the people who’s going to miss this arena I think it’s pretty special.”

Gretzky was in Edmonton for an Oilers function. He made his comments during a news conference during the first intermission of the Oilers-New York Islanders game at Rexall Place.