Saskatoon city council looking at potential plans for downtown arena
Don’t expect a new arena in downtown Saskatoon anytime soon, even if potential plans have been put forward, the CEO of SaskTel Centre says.
“It’s a decade or so out,” said Will Lofdahl on Wednesday on CTV Morning Live. “As we mentioned earlier, this is the first step. It’s important to stay on the timeline, and to realize that our facilities are aging, and we need to do something.”
SaskTel Centre and TCU Place recently commissioned a study looking at the physical condition and competitiveness of the two existing facilities. The study determined building an arena and convention centre in downtown Saskatoon to be the most “practical and profitable” option.
The study has been put before city council and is what the city calls “the first stage of a 10-stage process.”
The cost of construction for a new facility could be as high as $375 million, according to the study, but Lofdahl said he believes the cost will be worth it.
“When SaskTel Centre was being considered 35 years ago, the price tag of $26.1 million raised a lot of eyebrows,” he said. “But yet you look at it three decades forward, and you look back, I don’t think there would be anybody that would say that investment was a bad idea.”
Cost estimates to renovate SaskTel Centre and TCU Place would combine for over $119 million. TCU Place CEO Bob Korol said he is in favour of a new facility.
“We can’t really expand, and if we can’t expand or change our dimension in that regard, we’re no different from SaskTel Centre,” he said Wednesday. “We’re going to start losing national and international conventions, and that’s going to hurt the local economy.”
Specific locations for the proposed facility have yet to be determined.