Edmonton rejects Oiler bid for more taxpayer dollars for $450M downtown arena

The fate of a new home for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers is up in the air after city council rejected a bid from the Oilers to spend more taxpayer dollars on the project.

EDMONTON — The fate of a new home for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers is up in the air after city council rejected a bid from the Oilers to spend more taxpayer dollars on the project.

The decision by city council was made in a closed-door meeting, and Mayor Stephen Mandel would not say how much the Oilers wanted or what the money was earmarked for.

Mandel says he is frustrated by the process and won’t say if the rejection scuttles the deal to build a $450-million arena in the city’s downtown.

Mandel says the ball is now in the Oilers’ court.

A spokesman for the Oilers on the arena project was not immediately available for comment.

Debate over the arena deal has been heated and sharp in the Alberta capital given that the arena will be largely funded by taxpayers with operating costs and all profits going to the Oilers.