Hamilton Entertainment District Plan Master Agreement
The framework agreement to renovate downtown Hamilton’s entertainment venues is expected to be ratified on Wednesday, June 9.
On Thursday, after a closed-door session, Hamilton city councilors approved the deal establishing the privately funded $ 500 million plan to revitalize the downtown entertainment district. Proposal, that the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group (aka The Precinct Group) presented last summer, includes the modernization of the FirstOntario Center, the renovation of the FirstOntario concert hall and the Hamilton Convention Center, and the construction of three towers, one of which could house the Art Gallery of Hamilton. The constituency group would cover the costs.
All three entertainment venues were built in the 1970s and 1980s, and capital and maintenance costs have become a growing expense for the City of Hamilton in recent years.
The final details of The Precinct Group’s plan won’t be known for a few days. There are some details on any plans to change the seating capacity of the FirstOntario Center, which was built to 1980s National Hockey League specifications and can accommodate approximately 17,000 fans. The lower bowl will be renovated and the balcony of the upper bowl will have a new curtain system, while the hall between the bowls will be enlarged.
The arena is home to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League and the Hamilton Honey Badgers of the third season of the Canadian Elite Basketball League. The Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League also plans to move to Hamilton.
Images via City of Hamilton.