For a symbolic move so, ahem, monumental, as uprooting Wayne Gretzky from outside Rexall Place and moving him downtown, the official confirmation was decidedly prosaic.

At 5:13 p.m. Monday, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson tweeted: “I have confirmed 4 sure that the Gretzky statue will be relocated when the new arena opens.”

Iveson was asked about the statue decision on Wednesday.

“That’s my understanding, that the Gretzky statue will move to the new building when the new building opens,” Iveson said.

The monument to Gretzky — in full uniform, arms aloft, holding the Stanley Cup — was installed beside the main entrance of Rexall Place in 1989, the year after his trade to the Los Angeles Kings touched off an intense and lengthy period of civic bereavement at the loss of the greatest player of his generation, some believe in NHL history.

The thought of moving his likeness from the arena where Gretzky helped the Oilers win four of their five Stanley Cups, back in the 1980s, ignited an emotional debate, which Iveson acknowledged in his comments on Wednesday.

“Citizens are really of two minds about this.” Iveson said. “I have heard from those who think it should be where he played, and that’s hallowed ground, and I understand that point of view.

“But most other people I have heard from think it should be where the team is because that’s where the active spirit of the Oilers and the new future that they’re going to create in the new building will reside. And one of the best ways to link to the heritage and the glory days is to make sure that statue is part of the plaza downtown, so I’m supportive of that.”

Back in 2012, Gretzky himself wisely chose to stay out of the discussion.

“I’m truly honoured the City of Edmonton chose to erect a statue in my honour, and I certainly respect their decision on whether or not to move it,” Gretzky told the Journal in a statement in 2012. “I’m behind whatever decision they make 100 per cent.”

The mini-furor over the disposition of the statue mirrored in microcosm the often contentious four-year negotiation between the City and Oilers owner Daryl Katz over funding the new arena, to be called Rogers Place, which is under construction at a site on 104th Avenue, between 101st and 104th Street.