Federal officials have told the city of Thunder Bay a portion of the proposed event centre could still be eligible for government money.

Last week, the city learned its initial application for $20 million to build a new arena and convention centre was rejected. The government had taken arenas off the list of eligible projects under its P3 Canada (Public-Private Partnerships) program.

City manager Tim Commisso said, however, the city can reapply for funding for the convention centre part of the project.

"But [P3 officials] did acknowledge that certainly trade centre/convention centre projects are eligible and we would be able to submit for that component on the next round," he said.

Commisso said to be eligible for the next round of P3 applications, the business plan for the event centre will have to demonstrate projected revenues that support its ongoing operations.

He says if there's still money in the fund, the city hopes to have a successful proposal in the spring.

Commisso said the minimum capital project expenditure for funding has also been reduced from $50 million to $20 million, which will allow for smaller projects to be eligible for funding.