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Officials Weighing Downtown Saskatoon Arena

SaskTel Centre

A city report suggests that future planning should consider a new downtown Saskatoon arena, but officials have to decide whether it is an option for replacing the SaskTel Centre

A consultants’ report that was made public in March recommended constructing a new arena and convention center in downtown Saskatoon. The new venues would effectively address the long-term statuses of two existing facilities, including the 50-year-old convention center TCU Place and the SaskTel Centre–an aging arena on the city’s outskirts.

Next Tuesday, the city council’s governance and priorities committee will consider a report recommending that any future downtown planning should consider a new arena. There are still some unanswered questions, as the cost will have to be pinned down, while the funding model and site will have also to be determined. More from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:

The consultants’ report estimated the construction cost of a new downtown arena at between $172 million and $178 million and the cost of a combined arena and convention centre at between $330 million and $370 million.

A city report outlines several options for financing, but does not suggest any specific funding strategy.

“It would be a fairly major (project),” chief financial officer Kerry Tarasoff said. “One of our largest projects, no doubt.”

The Gordie Howe Bridge and connecting roadways ranks as the city’s highest tab for a single project in terms of construction cost, at nearly $300 million.

SaskTel Centre originally opened as Saskatchewan Place in 1988, and currently hosts hockey in the form of the Saskatoon Blades (WHL).

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