Within the results of a new study, a replacement of the SaskTel Centre is recommended over the pursuit of a major renovation to the arena. This comes as Saskatoon officials debate the futures of both the SaskTel Centre and TCU Place.
During a city governance and priorities committee meeting on Monday, a consultants report was presented to discuss options for the futures of the two venues. What the study ultimately recommends is pursuing a broader project that will replace both the SaskelTel Centre and TCU Place–a convention center–with new venues, and constructing the new facilities either at the same location or within a close distance of each other.
Some of the issues regarding the SaskTel Centre include existing structural problems, along with a remote location on the city’s outskirts. More from Global News:
The roof structure has become a factor when bidding on big shows. The height and capacity at SaskTel Centre is unable to support the weight of stage equipment some acts use. According to [SaskTel Centre CEO Will] Lofdahl, the Garth Brooks concert string and associated economic impact was almost lost because of it.
Aside from structural restrictions, Convergence Design consultant David Greusel said “SaskTel Centre is in the wrong location in my opinion.” The location, on the outskirts of the city was contentious when the arena was built.
Consultants propose the arena should seat 15,000 people, the same capacity as SaskTel Centre. They’re not suggesting more space but a better use of space instead.
Renovating is a consideration but isn’t recommended.
The report estimates that it would cost between $300 million and $375 million to replace the two venues, but officials have not made a final decision and say that this is an early step in the process. SaskTel Centre originally opened in 1988, and currently hosts hockey in the form of the Saskatoon Blades (WHL).