Edmonton Short On Funds For Rogers Place

Officials in Edmonton, Alberta, are scrambling after coming up about $32 million short in funding for a $604.5 million, under-construction arena district that will include Rogers Place.

Photo: facebook.com/RogersPlace

The city was apparently expecting to receive the funds in the form of a grant from the provincial government. Now, it’s on its own.

“The $32 million is a new (arena-related) expenditure. We should all have seen this coming,” Mayor Don Iveson told the Edmonton Journal.

Iveson said he supports the idea of using a community revitalization levy tax that would increase property values surrounding the district to make up the difference. A city report noted the levy could generate around $1.4 billion in taxes over two decades. And about a quarter of the levy would come from education taxes that would otherwise go back to the provincial government.

“If we want to capture that dough, this is the way to do it,” Iveson said. Not so fast, says Member of Parliament Peter Goldring, who criticized the mayor’s plan.

“If schools are struggling to find money, as are parents, it is shameful to use education money for the building of a hockey arena for millionaire players to play in,” he told the Journal.