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Mayor Floats Edmonton Coliseum Proposal

Vision 2020

Plans to repurpose Edmonton Coliseum and the surrounding area are being considering by mayor Don Iveson, who is soliciting citizen feedback.

We recently noted the efforts by Northlands to convert Edmonton Coliseum (formerly Rexall Place) and portions of the surrounding sports complex into a newer development. The main purpose would be for the Coliseum, Northlands Park, and portions of the Expo Center to be renovated to host a broader range of smaller and medium sized events. While the Coliseum does have a handful of major concerts scheduled for this fall, most of Edmonton’s future major performances are expected to take place at Rogers Place, the new home of the Edmonton Oilers.

Iveson is open to exploring the proposal, and, to make it happen, is considering a motion would defer some debt on the Expo Center. The mayor presented the details of the proposal, and the actions the city would take, on his blog:

  • Prepare a program statement and begin preliminary design to repurpose the Coliseum into a multiplex arena, pending securing necessary consent from Edmonton Northlands (Northlands) and Edmonton Arena Corp. This work should consult with the public and user groups, and explore partnerships with interested hockey and other amateur sports organizations. Report back to Council in Q4 2016 with a proposed project scope and budget profile to advance detailed design.
  • Work with Northlands and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), with input from the Government of Alberta, to build on existing studies and evaluate best practices for Convention & Event authorities, and bring a recommended model for integration of the Expo Centre and Shaw Conference Centre (and any other relevant public components) to maximize economic impact and community benefit – potentially under the management of Northlands, or EEDC, or under a new agency. Report back to Council Q1 2017.
  • Bring forward a report with Terms of Reference and cost estimates for a new Area Redevelopment Plan, to address repurposing and development options for the horse barns and racetrack site, and any other surplus lands, with special regard to the interface with surrounding communities. Report back to Council Q4, 2016.
  • Bring forward the necessary approvals required, as soon as practicable, to grant one year of deferral on EXPO centre debt payments from Northlands, subject to their participation in work outlined above, and subject to implementation of their governance reforms. That a further year of debt deferral be contingent on Northlands Board’s submission of a sustainable business plan to Council by June 30 of 2017. Report back on the recommended conditions and steps required at September 20, 2016 Council meeting.

Edmonton’s city council is expected to consider the proposal this week.

RELATED STORIES: Plans Discussed for Rexall Places Future

Image courtesy of Northlands Vision 2020. 

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