Councillors, Oilers agree to split final $30M cost to green light new arena

EDMONTON - The on-again-off-again deal to build a new rink for the Edmonton Oilers is on — again.

City councillors and the Edmonton Oilers have agreed to split the cost of the final missing $30 million needed to green light the wavy-shaped steel and glass structure in the city's downtown in time for the 2016-17 NHL season.

Construction is slated to start in the spring of 2014.

The city plans to pay off some of its debt through increased tax revenues from shops and businesses expected to spring up around the arena.

The deal caps seven years of debate that divided residents among those who wanted public dollars to go to the $480-million arena, those who didn't, and those who were OK with public money but said the deal was far too lopsided in favour of Oilers owner Daryl Katz.

This is the third time the deal has been proclaimed by council.

Prior deals collapsed over disputes with the Katz or when expected funding didn't come through.