* Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel is still talking about a ticket tax combined with a Community Revitalization Levy, the latter of which is Canadian for a TIF. City officials say a ticket tax could bring in $10 million a year, and a CRL about $8 million a year — with the caveat that since a CRL is based on rising property tax receipts, there’s no guarantee that that money would actually materialize. Or as the Edmonton Journal’s David Staples puts it: “Whether the levy will work or not is crystal ball stuff.” (The city’s full report can be downloaded here.)
* Edmonton city officials said it doesn’t look likely that a new arena could be open by 2014, but said they’d be happy to extend the Oilers’ current lease at Rexall Place by a year; Oilers execs refused to say whether they’d consider this, because what would that get them in terms of leverage?
* Sports agent Rich Winter proposed what he’s calling a “sports mortgage,” pre-selling seats for the next 40-50 years and using the cash to pay for a new arena. (If you’re wondering, this is different from the more conventional personal seat license in that once you’ve bought a PSL, you still have to pay for your individual game tickets; here, tickets would come with the package.) Some Edmonton city councillors seemed interested, but Oilers exec Bob Black rejected the idea, saying “any model which mortgages the future sustainability of the Oilers by using what would otherwise be ongoing revenues from ticket sales to pay for the construction of the arena” is unacceptable. (Translation: We don’t want to just borrow money from our fans, we want somebody else altogether to pay for our arena.)
Odds on any of this actually going anywhere anytime soon: not so hot. But it’s a good way to fill what space is left in the daily papers.