The Wayne Gretzky statue is on the move.
After sitting outside Rexall Place since August 27, 1989, the statue was cut away from its base Thursday afternoon. It was then lifted, turned onto its back, and placed into the back of a pick-up truck.
Soon, it will have a new home outside of Rogers Place.
“It’ll be in a public space. It’ll be downtown where people are everyday,” says Stu Ballantyne, Senior VP of Operations with the Oilers Entertainment Group. “It’ll be on 104 Avenue really close to Ford Hall, right where people are going to come in and out of the arena everyday.”
First, the statue is heading to Cochrane. Don Begg, a bronzesmith with Studio West, worked on casting the statue back in 1989 after it was sculpted by John Weaver.
“When we brought it up here, there were people hiding in the dumpsters wanting to see what it was,” Begg recalls.
Begg says the statue will now be cleaned and then returned to Edmonton in a couple of weeks. The statue will become part of an Oilers Hall of Fame at Rogers Place.
“There are a number of pieces that are going to be unveiled. The statue will be part of that. We’re working on the dates,” explains Ballantyne. (jrw)