Moncton Coliseum has outlived life as 'spectator venue'

A consultant hired by the City of Moncton is looking at ways to repurpose the Moncton Coliseum, saying it has outlived its life as a "spectator venue."

Consultant hired by city seeking public input on possible future uses of facility

The Moncton Coliseum has outlived its life as a “spectator venue," says a consultant hired by the City of Moncton.

Conrad Boychuk, senior director of recreation and venue development with CEI Architecture, has come up with several options for future use of the coliseum if a new downtown event centre is built.

A consultant is seeking public input on possible future uses of the Moncton Coliseum. (CBC)
The re-purposing options, presented during a public meeting Tuesday night, range from tearing the building down, to removing the seats and using it for recreation and trade shows.

But Boychuk does not believe the building can be a place for spectator events, no matter how much money is invested.

"You can try to fix it up, but I'm not sure that it's that easy to make it into a larger, more contemporary spectator facility and I would suggest that the business plan design or the business plan aspect of the coliseum is quite outdated and needs significant help," he said.

Boychuk says public input is crucial at this stage to ensure the building caters to the entire community.

"For us, maintaining flexibility is what's important and not having any one sport or any one activity, including trade shows, own the space. It needs to be as flexible and multi-purpose as possible."

Meanwhile, the City of Moncton continues to move ahead with plans to build a new downtown event centre that would be home to the Wildcats and the Miracles.

In its request for proposals, it says the new centre must have 7,500 seats, be open by August of 2017, and be a turn-key operation at a total cost of $95 million.