Report: Update on Oilers arena expected soon

Gary Bettman and the Coyotes have five years to get

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in Edmonton on Friday, for a meeting with the city. Although details of the meeting have not been released, it could mean progress on a new downtown arena for the Edmonton Oilers.

On Friday, Edmonton Journal columnist David Staples wrote, “There is no done deal on Edmonton’s downtown arena project, but I’m hearing significant progress has been made between the Katz Group and the city. Only a fraction of the outstanding issues remain to be resolved between the two groups, and a deal could well be in place by the time council meets on the issue on Jan. 23.”

In December, Edmonton city council voted to resume talks with Oilers billionaire owner Daryl Katz over a $478-million proposal for a downtown hockey arena to replace the 38-year-old Rexall Place.

The negotiations, which began five years ago, had stalled over money issues including the funding shortfall.

The city and the Alberta government have been adamantly opposed to using tax dollars to fill the gap.

An update on the status of the arena negotiations will reportedly be presented to city council on Wednesday