Plans for a new 6,000 thousand seat arena in Sudbury took a tiny step forward Monday night.

City councillors approved the hiring of a consultant to come up with a detailed plan for replacing the 63-year-old Sudbury Arena, which could cost as much as $85 million.

That plan will weigh the economics of running the rink, with what it should include, plus how it should be financed and who should run it.

Coun. Joe Cimino said, while this step seems preliminary, he believes it will make or break the new arena.

"This next step and the report that's created is either going to sell this project to the council, sell the project to the community or it's going to sink the project,” he said.

Coun. Terry Kett said that after that report comes out, the city should consult with the public.

He remarked it's important that Sudburians understand exactly what the options are for a new arena.

"If it's a public-private partnership, fine. I want to make sure people understand that. It could mean more expensive ice time, for an example."

Sudbury city councillors are expecting that consultant's report to come back in the summer.

The arena was built in 1951 with entirely public funds, including donations from the public, some of which were collected through a door-to-door campaign.