Construction on Edmonton’s new downtown arena is likely to start in March, city councillors were told on Thursday.

Final numbers aren’t expected until the middle of February, but city manager Simon Farbrother says that the project is expected to meet its maximum build price of $480 million.

“All indications are that we’re on target,” he said.

The city is now signing agreements and going through the legal work.

There are some questions about whether a $25 million regional collaboration grant will come through from the province, but Farbrother remains confident.

“We have no authority to proceed if the project is over 480 [million dollars],” he said.

“You know the message I would say over the last 18 months has been very consistent, very clear, is that we're building to that target."   

He says the guaranteed maximum price is expected to be confirmed by city council next month with shovels in the ground in March.

The arena is scheduled to be ready by the fall of 2016.