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July 31, 2018

Charlottetown continues to work on plans to build multimillion-dollar arena


The project may not have been officially endorsed by city hall, but work continues on plans to build a multimillion-dollar arena in Charlottetown.

That is the message from the City of Charlottetown following a Guardian editorial recently which pointed out that the time has come for action.

A task force struck by the city released its much-anticipated report seven months ago, recommending the development of a 5,000-seat multi-use sports and events centre.

Coun. Kevin Ramsay, chairman of the advanced planning, priorities and special projects committee, said at the time he would like to see ground broken in 2018. Since then, there’s been no news on the file.

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However, Wayne Long, events development officer with the city, said that doesn’t mean nothing is happening.

“Work continues to be undertaken to advance the Charlottetown multi-use facility file,’’ Long said.

As recommended in the report received from the multi-use task force in December 2017, council tasked city staff with exploring potential funding models, inclusive of partners for such a facility.

“It is anticipated that this work will conclude later this summer or in the early fall, after which findings will be presented to council,’’ Long said. “While council has received the initial report from the multi-use facility task force, it has not yet been officially endorsed.’’

Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee speculated earlier this year that there might be cash available with the province hosting the 2023 Canada Games. Lee is also adamant that the city can’t afford to move forward on this file on its own. Provincial and federal money will most certainly be required considering the cost of building the facility has been estimated between $74 million and $81 million with an additional $2 million for 500 parking spaces. And, estimates tend to go one way, up.

There’s also the need for an additional ice surface in the city.

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