Downtown Sudbury BIA to invest $2.2 million in core event centre
Casino proposal, city arena management shift doesn't discourage downtown group
Despite recent efforts made to strengthen the case for moving the community arena in Sudbury, the argument for keeping it downtown remains strong, according to the chair of the area's business improvement association (BIA).
"It's still the best case scenario for the city," Jeff MacIntyre said.
"My feeling is from every economist, architect, urban planner group that we've talked to, the downtown's going to come out on top."
That feeling is so strong, the BIA plans to invest $2.2 million to that downtown arena, MacIntrye told CBC's Morning North. The plan is to set a levy that the city collects and distributes to the BIA.
"This has no impact on the overall city taxes that the downtown pays. This is the BIA's fund," MacIntyre said.
Levying tax dollars is something other BIAs have done across Canada, MacIntyre says, and shows the value of the downtown core.
"We're going to benefit from [a downtown event centre], so we should put some skin in the game."
'Whole different shift in the growth of the city'
MacIntyre made the comments following a city council decision on Tuesday to transfer the management and the operations of the community arena over to the Sudbury Wolves Hockey Club.
Local entrepreneur Dario Zulich owns the team. He is also behind the company True North Strong, which is lobbying to build a new Sudbury arena on the Kingsway in the eastern part of the city.
Gateway Casinos signed a letter of intent to add a new casino to Zulich's entertainment complex.
While MacIntyre believes a downtown casino is unlikely, he said he does not think these recent developments shake the downtown's pitch for a new venue.
"We're talking about an events centre that already exists downtown and replacing it," MacIntyre said.
"I think to take that away from the downtown is a whole different shift in the growth of the city."
The site for a possible new arena will be unveiled to city council at a meeting on June 27.