When the deal for Rogers Place was signed several years ago, the city posted the all-in cost as $606.5 million. A recent update on the city’s website pegged the price tag at $613.7 million.
The city stresses the cost difference – $7.2 million – will not be paid for by taxpayers.
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It explained there were changes to the project’s scope: improvements to the Community Rink (being paid for by MacEwan University, which will be using the rink) and improved connections between the casino building and the hotel (being paid for by the Katz Group.)
Since the work is happening at the same time as the arena construction, the costs are being included in the overall price tag.
“Everyday citizens, they won’t see a difference,” Rick Daviss, executive director of the Downtown Arena Project, said. “The cost increases, yes. We are getting a better facility with a higher value, but that’s all being funded by MacEwan or by the Katz Group. And so the city contribution remains as it was.”
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The downtown arena project still faces a $31.5-million funding gap, unrelated to these two improvements.
The city was hoping provincial grants would help pay for part of the arena and Community Rink costs, but the funds did not come through.
Council will vote to tap into the Community Revitalization Levy to make up the difference.
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Rogers Place is scheduled to open Sept. 10 ahead of the 2016 NHL season.
The Edmonton Oilers will play their first game there on Monday, Sept. 26 against the Calgary Flames.