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Plenty of interest among bidders for new Sudbury Arena

By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Feb 03, 2014 - 3:50 PM |
City councillors will get their first chance to review the results of an expression of interest tender that solicited at least 14 replies from local and international groups interested in replacing the Sudbury Arena. File photo.

City councillors will get their first chance to review the results of an expression of interest tender that solicited at least 14 replies from local and international groups interested in replacing the Sudbury Arena. File photo.

More than a dozen companies join process; costs range from $35M-$85M

The long process of replacing Sudbury Arena with a modern OHL and concert facility will reach a milestone this afternoon when the city's community services committee meets.

It will be city councillors' first chance to review the results of an expression of interest tender that solicited at least 14 replies from local and international groups interested in the project. Preliminary cost estimates range from $35 million to $85 million to replace the current arena, the oldest rink in the league, and one that's badly outdated when it comes to issues such as accessibility or hosting larger concert events.

Groups were asked for proposals on a range of options, from just designing the new rink; design and build; design, build and operate; design, build, operate and finance; and, design, build, operate, finance and maintain.

Bidders were told the new rink must include an NHL-size ice pad, seating capacity to host the Memorial Cup, eight dressing rooms – with a premier dressing room for the home team – a treatment room and capacity to host major concerts and events. The existing Elgin Street arena must also stay open during construction of the new facility.

A staff report says submissions ranged from businesses only interested in providing seats for a new arena, to larger bids that included design, build, finance and operate options.

“The majority of submissions assumed a downtown location, with some proponents including convention/event centres in addition to the arena facility,” the staff report says. “The price range for the submissions was from $35 million to $85 million, with a range of amenities and options from 5,400 to 6,500 seats and two-pad facility.”

Several of the submissions included a private-public-partnership business plan, similar to the one being used to build and operate the $60-million biosolids plant on Kelly Lake Road.

Some proposals want the city to provide land for the arena and guarantee ice rental revenue.

The next step in the process is hiring a consultant to come up with a detailed plan on replacing Sudbury Arena.

“A report regarding business plan options, financing options and potential site selection criteria will be brought back to city council for consideration,” the report concludes.
Darren MacDonald

Darren MacDonald

Staff Writer

@Darrenmacd

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