Staples: City council will move ahead on new arena deal, Coun. Ed Gibbons predicts

EDMONTON – A done arena deal? Sounds too good to be true, especially after years of angry debate, high-stakes deal-making and bungled negotiations.

But that’s where we appear to be heading.

The other night, shortly after Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel hammered out a new tentative deal on Edmonton’s downtown arena with Oilers owner Daryl Katz and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Mandel met up with his colleague, Coun. Ed Gibbons.

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Lockout cooled sales for Okotoks businesses

The NHL owners locked out their players in September and after more than 100 days the labour dispute ended on Jan. 6. As a result, either 48 or 50 game schedule is expected to begin in about 10 days.

Jordan Hick, general manager of Boston Pizza in Okotoks, can hardly wait.

He said he estimated the sports bar and restaurant has lost thousands of dollars every week as a result of the NHL lockout.

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Return of NHL hockey could give downtown arena deal ‘psychological’ push, councillor says

EDMONTON – The end of the NHL contract fight could help spark an agreement on building a downtown Edmonton arena, city councillors say.

“Not having a season really went against the idea of a new arena. Psychologically, this might get people excited again,” Coun. Tony Caterina said Monday.

“People will feel more excited about it because the game is on again. That will go a long way.”

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Merchants near arenas suffering from NHL lockout, Edmonton hit the hardest: report

TORONTO – A report says the NHL lockout is forcing Canadian merchants near hockey arenas into the penalty box, with spending down more than 11 per cent from a year ago on a game day.

The report by credit and debit card processor Moneris found drinking establishments near arenas in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary are being hit the hardest with business falling nearly 35 per cent.

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