Discussions of a new Sudbury, ON arena will continue, as the Sudbury City Council voted on Tuesday to move forward with the proposal.
The council was presented a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Consulting that outlined how a new arena could take shape. The report calls for a 5,800-seat arena that could cost at least $80 million, and would have room for one ice rink.
With the vote on Tuesday on complete, Sudbury will now proceed with the planning, which will include narrowing down site candidates and issuing a request for proposals (RFP) on the arena. The vote was not close–it passed by an 11-2 margin, with councilors Michael Vagnini and Robert Kirwan casting the dissenting votes. More from The Sudbury Star:
Ron Henderson, special advisor to the CAO, presented a staff report on the events centre. He will lead an evaluation team that will look into proposed sites for the arena. He said Tuesday the city has identified about 15 sites that would work.
Henderson said his committee would present a preferred site to city council in June.
“The strategy is to get the best architect, builder and venue operator for the best price,” Henderson said.
Ed Archer, the city’s CAO, admitted that taxpayers would bear the brunt of costs for the events centre, no matter where it is built.
“This was not going to be a cost-free opportunity for the city,” he said in response to a question from Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh. “There were not offers for someone to come and build this for us “¦ The cost for this facility will rest with the taxpayer.”
Kirwan wanted to know what it meant, “when the site is available for construction,” which Bidulka mentioned during his presentation. Bidulka said the city could buy land from a private owner.
If the arena is constructed, it could be used as a new home for the Sudbury Wolves. The team currently plays its games at the Sudbury Community Arena.
RELATED STORIES: Report Outlines Sudbury Arena Plans; Sudbury Votes to Seek RFPS on Arena; Sudbury Wolves: We’re Neutral to Arena Site; Sudbury Arena Redevelopment Concept Pitched; Sudbury Considering Arena Plans; Amidst Arena Push, Wolves Find New Owner