On Tuesday, members of the Saskatoon City Council endorsed planning for a new downtown Saskatoon arena that could eventually replace the SaskTel Centre.
A consultants’ report that was made public in March recommended constructing a new arena and convention center in downtown Saskatoon over a renovation of existing venues. 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.
On Tuesday, the city council’s governance and priorities committee considered a recent city report that recommended that any future downtown planning consider a new arena. Such plans could include a new downtown Saskatoon arena anchoring an entertainment district, with the venue possibly combined with a new convention center or constructed on its own. The 10-1 vote to back planning for a possible new downtown arena was a step in that direction, but many details–including the site and funding–will have to be finalized, so it does not seem that a final plan is imminent. More from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:
Several councillors stressed the downtown facilities represent a long-term plan and no decision on funding or a location is imminent.
[City manager Jeff] Jorgenson cautioned that even the timeline to identify a location is a long one.
“I don’t see that as weeks or even a few months,” he said. “That’s going to take some time.”
SaskTel Centre originally opened as Saskatchewan Place in 1988, and currently hosts hockey in the form of the Saskatoon Blades (WHL).