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Petition to rename Downtown Community Arena after Joey Moss gaining traction

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A petition to rename Edmonton’s Downtown Community Arena after Alberta Sports Hall of Famer Joey Moss is gaining popularity.

Emil Tiedemann, who created the Change.org petition Monday following the news of Moss’ death, said he was inspired to create the petition after seeing reaction on social media.

“I’ve always known that Joey Moss has such a legacy in Edmonton, he just seemed to be beloved by every single Edmontonian,” Tiedemann said.

“I saw a lot of people posting about memorials and what we can do to honour him. And some people had mentioned the Downtown Community Arena and I thought that was a perfect way to honour him because first of all, it doesn’t have a name really right now, and Joey Moss represented hockey in our city.”

Moss, 57, died Monday afternoon after a battle with Alzheimer’s and a recent surgery for a broken hip.

Moss, born with Down syndrome, joined the Edmonton Oilers as a locker room attendant in the mid-1980s and later the Edmonton Football Team. He quickly became a fixture in Edmonton’s professional hockey and football landscape because of his dedication and positive energy.

His legacy in the city has been recognized in the past. In 2008, a mural in Moss’ honour was unveiled on 99 Street. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2015, he was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

So far, Tiedemann’s petition has close to 1,200 signatures. Tiedemann said it’s exciting to see it gain popularity.

“A lot of people are saying other things as well like a statue, and a train station and the streets to be named after him as well,” Tiedemann said.

“I think this feels like the most important one because that arena represents community. It’s a place where anybody can play and it’s for all of Edmonton.

“I think that’s why it represents Joey Moss so much better than something like the Rogers Place arena or any street or anything like that.”

City of Edmonton spokeswoman Mary-Ann Thurber said anyone who would like to change a building name in honour of Moss is encouraged to follow the naming committee process and fill out an application form.

Tiedemann said he will “absolutely” fill out a form.

The city will be lighting up the High Level Bridge in blue, orange, green and gold, the colours of the Oilers and the Edmonton Football Team to honour Moss Tuesday night.

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