The Edmonton Oilers announced on Tuesday that the city's downtown arena project has been given the green light to begin construction in next month and the team's new home will be scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.
The City of Edmonton and Katz Group said that the $480 million Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for Rogers Place has been met.
"For the Katz Group and the Edmonton Oilers, we have always believed Edmonton's need for a new arena was a huge opportunity to help transform our downtown into the vibrant, diverse and dynamic community that is the hallmark of every great city," said Oilers owner Daryl Katz in a statement. "We couldn't be more excited to see that vision becoming a reality and I want to thank Mayor Iveson, City Council, former Mayor Stephen Mandel, and the entire team at the City and everyone else who has laboured over this project for years for their tenacity and faith in this project."
In addition to the $480 million for the arena, the cost was also confirmed through the GMP process for the four other components of the project - a community rink, Winter Garden, LRT connection and pedestrian pedway.
The total price for the arena project is $606.5 million, which includes a $2 million contribution from MacEwan University towards the community rink to increase capacity and improve functionality.
"This is an exciting day for Edmonton as we move ahead with a project that will help realize our vision of a more vibrant downtown and ensures that the Edmonton Oilers remain a vital part of our city for years to come," said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. "The look of Rogers Place is bold and forward-looking, just like Edmonton. As part of our downtown vision, it will serve as a symbol of our city's great future."
The GMP process means that the construction manager bears all risk for cost increases in labour and materials throughout the project, protecting the City and Katz Group from having to pay more if the costs change.
The new arena will seat 18,641 for hockey, with added corporate suites, wider concourses and diverse amenities.
The Oilers have played out of Rexall Place since 1974 - when it was called Northlands Coliseum.