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Sudbury Considering Arena Plans

Sudbury Wolves

Following Dario Zulich‘s recent purchase of the Sudbury Wolves, one city council member is arguing that the city should proceed with an arena project.

Zulich’s purchase of the team comes as his group–True Strong North–pushes the True Strong North Event Centre, an arena and adjacent development along The Kingsway. If the arena is constructed, the Wolves would move from their current home, Sudbury Community Arena.

With the team and arena development now intertwined, city council member Robert Kirwan is questioning the necessity of considering other options. Some in Sudbury are arguing that the city take a look at building the arena downtown, but Kirwan said in a recent Facebook post that the city should take advantage of Zulich’s ownership and consider halting any RFPs and reports related to the arena’s location. For right now, the city sounds inclined to let its process play out. More from the Sudbury Star:

He also said moving the Wolves, as well as other arena events, to The Kingsway locale could free up the current arena for other projects, including the new library and art gallery.

“The True North proposal does not require any significant monetary investment from the city and it provides the current Sudbury Arena to be repurposed for the Art Gallery (of Sudbury) and main library, two of the other large projects that we are hoping to build. The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation actually suggested the Sudbury Arena as being a preferred spot for the art gallery and library since it is downtown and there is plenty of parking available for this dual purpose,” Kirwan wrote.

“So, at the end of the day, Mr. Zulich may have established the foundation for some major growth and development in the city. Now we just have to move forward and make the right decisions.”

But while Kirwan may be questioning the need for an RFP now, the city says it still intends to issue the request for proposals.

“The Sudbury Wolves have a long history in our community, and we continue to be thrilled to have an OHL team in our city,” said Eliza Bennett, the communications manager. “At council’s direction, city staff have been working to define the needs of the community for a potential new arena so that a competitive process can be undertaken. The change in ownership of the Wolves does not change the city’s need to undertake due diligence.”

Zulich’s purchase of the team is still pending the approval of the Ontario Hockey League board of governors.

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