01/23/2013 07:19 EST | Updated 01/23/2013 07:38 EST

Edmonton Downtown Arena: Albertans React To Project Approval

City of Edmonton

When news broke that Edmonton city council and the Katz Group had reached a deal to build a downtown arena, it was hard to find anyone who wasn't happy about it, but it was just as hard to find anyone who was happy with the deal behind it.

The much maligned process behind the proposal to build a $601 million project, complete with shopping centres and expanded LRT, and the likes of which would be considered cutting-edge the world over, has been the benefactor of hope before. But after Edmonton city council met with representatives from the Katz Group, the proposal seems to finally have moved beyond the hope phase.

But it's not the look of the building or the ambition of the project that has so many Edmontonians upset, it's how the tab is going to be paid that's raised the ire of many.

Much of the money needed to build the mega project will come from the City of Edmonton and a ticket tax that will be implemented when doors to the facility open.

Despite that, there is still more than $100 million that have not been accounted for and that will be required to make the arena a reality.

Another $107 million is still being sought from the province, along with $7 million from the feds.


Many in social media also cited Oilers' owner Daryl Katz's recent election funding scandal, theorizing that his hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations will translate to a handout from the province.

"Bribing government in Alberta still works ... No surprise with REDfraud in power," said Werner Patels on Facebook.