Oilers move to new stadium could create debate over Gretzky statue

A debate could be brewing over the fate of a statue of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky that stands outside Edmonton’s Northlands Coliseum. The city has struck a deal with the Katz Group, owner of the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL, to build a new arena in the downtown area.

EDMONTON — A debate could be brewing over the fate of a statue of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky that stands outside Edmonton’s Northlands Coliseum.

The city has struck a deal with the Katz Group, owner of the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL, to build a new arena in the downtown area.

A clause in the master agreement says if there are no objections, the statue of the former Oiler would be moved to the new arena.

But Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel isn’t so sure.

He says he thinks the statue belongs on the land where it sits and shouldn’t be moved.

He also notes the deal isn’t yet written in stone, so the clause pertaining to the statue might not stay in the master agreement.

“We have to be respectful of where it is and respectful of the environment where it sits now,” said Mandel.

Coun. Tony Caterina said the clause should definitely be eliminated.

“Wayne Gretzky, as far as I know, never played in a non-existent arena,” he said.

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