Sudbury council wants a new arena — so what's next?

Sudbury city council isn't ruling out the possibility of building a new arena downtown.
City council has voted to prioritize the development of an events centre. A bidding process is expected to open in the coming months. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Sudbury city council isn't ruling out the possibility of building a new arena downtown.

Council asked city staff this week to prioritize the development of an events centre, which would host concerts and hockey games.

So far, there are two new private arena proposals, for locations on Kingsway Boulevard and in the South End.

Mayor Brian Bigger said a decision will be made once council gets more information about how much it would cost.

Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger says he thinks "an events centre that can bring the types of concerts, performances, acts ... to our community really positions us really well within northern Ontario." (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Then the city will likely open a bidding process to look at all options.

"All the proponents who would have a proposal to submit would be reviewed," he said. "There may be other proposals, in addition to the two that have stepped forward."

Bigger said he expects the city to open that bidding process before the next election in 2018.

Council has been trying to decide what to do with its aging downtown arena for years.

The mayor said he would like the centre to host big events, like the Brier curling championship and international figure skating.

"The level of entertainment that can be brought to our community positions us really well within northern Ontario."

Coun. Al Sizer agreed.

"I think it will attract new business, new hotels, perhaps a convention centre in the area or proximity of the new events centre," he said.

Still, Sizer said the city may consider other options.

"This exercise didn't take anything off the table."

Sudbury city council is shortlisting four big civic projects.

Councillors gave the nod to a combined art gallery and main library, an arena and events centre, a complex for French  arts and culture, and a multi-use space and conference centre.

The four were endorsed on Tuesday night and chosen from a list of 16 possibilities.

with files from Olivia Stefanovich


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