The Copps Coliseum transition team is asking the city to spend nearly a million dollars on a new "power ring" to go around arena.
The LED-lit ring will be located between the lower and upper levels of the arena. It would light up and display advertising during events, said Coun. Sam Merulla of Ward 4, who moved the motion to spend the money at a general issues committee meeting Wednesday.
The ring would cost about $800,000 and run 360 degrees around the coliseum. About half a million would come from an unallocated capital reserve, while about $300,000 would come from existing accounts related to Copps, said Merulla's motion.
"I support it based on the fact that it's attached to a revenue source," he said.
Global Spectrum recently took over management of Copps Coliseum from the former Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Incorporated (HECFI). Front Row Marketing, the company's sponsorship-selling arm, has agreed that a power ring is "the single most important capital expenditure that would facilitate incremental sponsorship revenues and enhance the fan experience," Merulla's motion said.
HECFI has identified the need for a ring for years, he said.
Councillors voted at Monday's general issues committee meeting to get a staff report on the proposed power ring. They want an estimate on how much revenue the ring will generate.
Global Spectrum/Live Nation took over management of Copps and Hamilton Place earlier this year. Carmen's Inc. took over the Hamilton Convention Centre. These moves were expected to save money, but the city still seems to be spending money, said Coun. Lloyd Ferguson of Ancaster.
"The ink isn't even dry yet and here we are spending $800,000," Ferguson said. "We've been told by NHL teams that the arena is no longer suitable. Why are we making this investment when we don't see it being used by an NHL team?"