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New Senators owner suggests hefty price-tag for new arena

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Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer says there is a desire to move the team to a new arena, but it will be costly and it has to make sense for everyone.

Appearing on TSN 1200 on Monday, Andlauer was asked whether he and his partners would be willing to privately fund a new rink for the Sens.

"I think a new arena may cost $900 million. It's just not one of those things that you kinda go in your pocket and say, 'Oh, jeez, I got some spare change here, I'll be able to do it.' It has to make economic sense," he said. "I don't know what it's going to take."

He cited Edmonton as an example of a public-private partnership (P3) model that he believes worked well for all groups.

The costs of Edmonton's Rogers Place were split between the Katz Group, the city of Edmonton, and through a ticket surcharge. The city raised its share, $226 million, via a community revitalization levy, new parking revenues, and redirecting subsidies.

"I know that there's a desire and, certainly, it has to be win, win, win," he said.

A new arena for the Ottawa Senators closer to downtown has long been discussed in the city, including under the previous ownership of the late Eugene Melnyk. The National Capital Commission, which owns LeBreton Flats, has said it is confident the Senators will eventually move there.

Andlauer said Friday, after officially taking over the team, that he's willing to work on a plan to move the team out of Kanata and closer to the core of the city.

"The mayor wants it, the NCC wants it, the Ottawa Senators want it, the fans want it. So we're all going in the same direction. It's a matter of collaborating, working together and seeing what works."

However, discussion around how to pay for it has been contentious. Many residents do not want taxpayer dollars used to build an NHL arena. Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe has not ruled out spending city funds on a new arena and he has also suggested LeBreton Flats might not be the only option.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford was non-committal about any provincial funding.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he did not ask Sutcliffe for any public dollars when the two met in March, prior to Andlauer being named the new owner of the team.

The Ottawa Senators opened their pre-season on Sunday with a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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