Potential plan for expansion of Sadlon Arena
BARRIE, ONT. -- One of Barrie's most recognizable landmarks could soon be getting a significant facelift.
At least one Barrie city councillor would like to see it come to The Sadlon Arena, formerly known as the Barrie Molson Centre. Gary Harvey wants a three-storey addition to the complex, at what could be as much as nine million dollars.
"The project would add about 10,000 additional square feet to the arena for trade shows and multi-purpose uses," said Harvey.
Harvey says the extra space will allow the city-owned property to host more prominent and even international events, something he thinks is just what the city needs.
"This will inject significant amounts of money into the community into our restaurants into our hotels," said the city councillor. "A memorial cup in the current day and age is between 16 and 18 million dollars for the community that hosts it. All of the curling Canada events right now, I've been told, are estimated between 6 and ten million dollars."
Harvey will ask council to apply for a government grant through the Ontario Community Building Fund – Capital Stream to pay for half of the cost. He would like to see the rest come from the new municipal tourism tax.
Part of the addition would include up to 400 new seats for hockey.
"I think it's a great idea," said Jim Payetta, the co-owner of the OHL's Barrie Colts, who call the facility home. "I mean, sports tourism is huge a huge industry now."
Payetta says the extra seating is t the only thing needed to possibly one day land a memorial cup.
"It's about the other facilities that you need in the building. It's a proper media area, proper VIP lounge, proper medical facilities," said Payetta. "It's more than just about the Colts. This is about sports tourism. I think having those other facilities in there will allow the city to attract bigger events."
Councillor Harvey will bring the motion up during Monday's virtual council meeting.
He says he wants the city to be ready as soon as applications are accepted.