A proposed downtown entertainment district will likely be a main issue in the 2020 municipal election.
The city’s Governance and Priorities committee was told there is no timeline or specific location for a new downtown arena-convention centre meaning there isn’t likely enough time for current council to make a final decision.
The committee has approved a plan to have staff put together the detailed process needed to put the wheels in motion.
However, city manager Jeff Jorgenson stressed they were not deciding on if, where or when they were going to construct new facilities.
Although choosing a downtown location is the first priority, Jorgenson pointed out the next step is compiling the data and information leading to site selection.
Consultant’s reports recommend building a new arena and T-C-U place downtown instead of renovating the current aging facilities feeling they not be attractive enough to stage major events in the future.
The projected cost of a new arena and convention centre alone is pegged at between 330 and 375-million dollars.
Council members on the committee suggested other potential downtown facilities like a new library be included in the planning process.
Mayor Charlie Clark said the city has an opportunity to make Saskatoon’s downtown strong, exciting and vibrant when you factor in possible transportation and infrastructure improvements.
The process endorsed by the committee is dependent on City Council approval.