Sadlon Arena Expansion Proposed by Barrie City Councilor – Barrie 360
Putting more behind in the seats at Sadlon Arena will require more seating, and that’s what councilor Gary Harvey would like to see.
City councilors, at their general committee meeting on Monday, will consider a motion by Harvey to apply for a grant for the Building Ontario Communities Fund – Sadlon Arena Expansion Capital Stream .
“This expansion is necessary to make our facility competitive and have the capacity to host large national and international events that it currently cannot accommodate due to lack of seating and event space, as well as spaces for participants. not meeting 2021 standards, ”Harvey told Barrie 360.
The grant application is for a three-storey addition on the north side of the building and will include:
- new large entrance to the arena with multifunctional area / lounge
- counters, concessions
- a versatile sports bar
- additional office / retail space
- possible new home for Barrie Sports Hall of Fame
- additional changing rooms
- dining room / lounge for players
- medical institutions
- storage and meeting space
- media lounge / VIP lounge
- new sound system
- upgraded green hall with additional seating for spectators
In an email to Barrie 360, Harvey said the estimated cost of the project was between $ 7 million and $ 9 million. He pointed out that these estimates are a little over a year old and that is why he is asking for an updated estimate.
“My business plan that I would like to use for this project will not cost the taxpayers of the City of Barrie anything. If the grant is successful, the other part of the capital cost could be covered by the new MAT tourism tax (municipal accommodation tax), so that tourism pays for tourism, ”explained Harvey.
“In its first full year of 2019, MAT raised just over $ 1.3 million, split between the City of Barrie and Tourism Barrie,” added Harvey. “Using a portion of the MAT each year to pay for construction costs would be the financial model I would like to use.”
Staff would work with community stakeholders including but not
limited to Tourism Barrie, Barrie Colts Organization, Canadian
Hockey League, Skate Canada and Curling Canada to ensure that the
the application meets the requirements of these organizations to host
provincial, national and international level competitions.
Harvey said the old Barrie Molson Center was state of the art when it opened in December 1995, but a lot has changed.
“Since then, many cities in Ontario have built facilities with a few thousand additional seats and state-of-the-art facilities for attendees,” said Harvey. “This renovation will bring us to 2021 standards for the CHL (Canadian Hockey League), Curling Canada and Skate Canada. This will then put us in a much better position to bid for these events, as the addition will add a few hundred more seats, additional multi-use space and two high-end lounges including a media center.
In his email, Harvey said one of the lounges would be able to accommodate several hundred spectators in a VIP style lounge reaching a spectator capacity close to the 5,000 spectator mark.
“This will make our facility state-of-the-art again and revitalize it for another 20 to 25 years before our population reaches the size that the city will then have to consider building a new, much larger arena and at that time, this facility will be 50 years old. years, ”he says.
Harvey said the economic impact of hosting these national and international events would be staggering.
“Curling Canada’s events cost between $ 6 and $ 10 million and the Memorial Cup, between $ 16 and $ 18 million,” he said. “And Skate Canada, it’s $ 45 million.”
A major event in the building would cover the cost of construction along with the economic impact that these events bring with them, Harvey said.
“More recently, North Bay and Thunder Bay have hosted major curling events, so why not Barrie? We have a lot more to offer visitors here with our waterfront community, ”he said.
“It will also help greatly and put a financial insurgency in one of the hardest hit sectors throughout the pandemic. Our hospitality industry has been hit hard and that will inject countless millions of dollars into this industry no matter what major event we manage to secure.
Harvey said the grant has an overall budget of $ 55 million for submissions, and the grants typically cover 50% of the capital cost.
If successful, staff would get an updated estimate of construction costs to be included in grant applications.
The Sadlon Arena can currently accommodate 4,195 people.