Meet the new Rogers Place. It has 250 spots for designated societal superstars but for me and you, the remaining 18,391 folks, seats in the rink - too bad so sad.
And too bad so sad for you owners of residences, wanting to make some bucks by renting out parking at your place to fill the need - you’ll be fined.
Now, a fairly official position of the burghers of this burg is: you won’t need “specific-site parking” because there’s enough in nearby neighborhoods to go around.
Edmonton writer, Jodi Tauber, answers those that have wondered about the no site-specific-spots rumors:
“That is because there will be more than 18,000 parking stalls within easy walking distance of Rogers Place – nearly half of them are within a five-minute walk and the others are within a ten-minute walk. Plus with lots of other options like transit and LRT, a major event at Rogers Place is only expected to use 6,000 stalls. Right now most Downtown parking stalls sit empty in the evenings and weekend. This is one of the big advantages of having a Downtown arena. Rather than having to build acres of new parking lots, Rogers Place takes advantage of the many parking facilities that already exist Downtown.”
Sounds great - but will it turn out to be true – or will it turn out to be an Obama Care “Like your Plan...Keep your Plan”...kind of thing? So far reaction has been negative. The lots around the arena are privately owned, so they charge what they want and what they want to do is charge $25 to $30 per space for a game.
And don’t even think about parking on nearby streets – the city is strictly enforcing a two-hour limit.
So, if private parking lots are too expensive, and street parking is taboo, and the arena has no parking – what’s the beleaguered hockey fan, other than using the Rogers Place arena’s 2 designated drop-off-and-pick up areas, each a couple of blocks away, or using the Light Rail Transit – which does feature 5 stations within walking distance – or via Rogers and Panda Parking, buy parking passes that reserve one’s spot (if one, as alluded to above, can afford it) in a nearby parking lot --- to do?
Wait. There is an “ice district.” And guess what? Come 2019 or 2020 there will be 2,500 underground spots...Should work well if the arena capacity was 3,000 – but it seats 18,000+ for hockey and 20,000+ for concerts.
Indeed, where do the powers that be in that central Albertan city get off beggaring the long-suffering fans of the Edmonton Oilers, who have STUNK the HOUSE, parking lots, adjacent lots, and surrounding milieus around town, OUT - for some ten years now?
Can city councils be banned holus bolus, be cashiered out of town? (Perhaps Wayne Gretzky, brought back to the Oilers as a partner and vice-chairman of their Entertainment Group, can run the parking part of Edmonton’s city government, should he become bored at Oiler front-office board meetings...)
Hey, a guy named Glen Scott, a senior VP in charge of Real Estate things says” “We’re probably running one of the most accelerated redevelopments in North America,” Running so fast as to overlook parking, and miss out on car commuter concerns, say.
And there is ongoing, running concern in the community. One of Edmonton’s city councillor’s, Scott McKeen, on his website says he’s concerned about mental health. Truncating a quote of his, has his points about parking being: “...because you have these big, blank, open dark areas.”
To know how far Edmonton, and the province of Alberta, have fallen - is to contrast the amazing CFL Edmonton Eskimos 5 Grey Cups in a row (1978-1982) and the Edmonton Oilers running roughshod over NHL competition (kudos to Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Kurri, Fuhr, and Anderson) throughout the 80’s, taking 5 Stanley Cups, later led by Progressive Conservative provincial government – that paid off all its debts in 2005 (thanks premier Ralph Klein) - to today’s Edmontonian/Albertan world where the Oilers – Connor McDavid notwithstanding - have been putrid – not Toronto Maple Leafs putrid, but putrid, and the Eskimos have only 2 Grey Cup wins these past 10 years (in a 9-team CFL) and despite a history of offering the world “ethical oil” as compared to that energy sold by Saudi Arabia, say - is now run by lefties, the New Democratic Party (NDP) - that will balloon the 2016-17 deficit to the moon, or at least to ten billion.
Where, at one time, Alberta was viewed as the most competent energy-based polity globally, it’s now viewed as an entity that belongs to a country that is against its own pipeline construction. (Although in fairness, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, despite tying up the oil and gas industry in regulatory knots, does have beautiful flowing hair.)
OPEC 10 and USA Energy Industry 10 - Alberta and Canada oil and gas 0!
OK, back to specifics, basics. What’s the deal with Edmonton Rogers Arena parking now? Well, apparently there is a gravel parking lot a couple of blocks away in use for 800 cars ($26 per car) the Oilers ownership group is hoping to extend city permissions for, for at least three years. Other than that, nothing seems to be on the horizon, but you can bet your bottom dollar, should a solution seem viable, folks like Brian Murphy, general supervisor for parking management, and Bohdan Maslo, city acting director for parking management, and the city’s director of enforcement, Ryan Pleckaitis, along with city councillors, will ensure all parking pleas, protests, and eventual possibilities don’t contravene the vaunted 43-page Traffic Bylaw, Bylaw 5590.
Or, as city councillor Scott McKeen says: “This is a shemozzle that we’re trying to carefully arrange.”