Not much has been said about how much a new arena will cost North Bay taxpayers, but the City is doing its best to provide information to stakeholders until it does.
Councillor Mark King says that to capitalize on a new build, adding two ice pads will better serve the needs of residents. Going from four ice pads (one at Memorial Gardens, two at Pete Palangio, and another at West Ferris) to five by discontinuing use at West Ferris and adding two new ice pads will present opportunities for revenues to the City.
Some opposition is being heard to building a new arena. Some maintain that the Cassellholme project should be addressed first, while others point to a demographic shift downwards as reasons why funds should be directed to long-term care facilities rather than arenas for children.
If the City wishes to grow a financially successful sports tourism portfolio, a new twin pad is a must, Councillor Mark King has said on various occasions. Having enough ice pads to use in North Bay puts money back into the City, rather than having so many teams practicing and playing in surrounding communities.
King, also chair of community services, classifies the investment as “necessary.” While population declines, the City maintains that demand for ice time is on the rise, as compared to a 2013 study.
Residents in the West Ferris area (and beyond) are clamouring for another fight about services in the south end of North Bay. At a recent city council meeting, King’s committee opted to greenlight site investigations at two sites, behind Memorial Gardens in Thomson Park and adjacent to the Steve Omischl Sports Complex, but not at the West Ferris Community Centre.
The City has cited structural problems with the trusses, as well issues with the foundation as reasons the West Ferris complex must be closed in the near future.