For the first time, Saskatoon residents are seeing what a future downtown arena might look like.
Last week, the city announced that it had narrowed potential locations for a proposed downtown arena and associated entertainment district to two locations: the north parking lot of Midtown Plaza and the undeveloped north area of downtown. city near the city courts.
On Monday, city councilors received a report outlining the cons and pros of both locations, along with artistic illustrations. The illustrations only show a concept for the arena. A design process still needs to take place.
All councilors but one voted to approve the report. The city can now begin collecting public feedback.
Mayor Charlie Clark said the neighborhood is exciting for Saskatoon and people outside the city.
“[This] is an opportunity to create experiences not only for residents of our city, but also for residents of Melfort, Meadow Lake, Muskeg Lake, La Ronge, communities across the province,” he said.
The consultants found the Midtown location to be the “highest rated site” based on the technical criteria they used.
The report also said that the city’s shipyards site, which the city owns, would cost more than the Midtown location which is not owned by the city.
Dan Willems, director of technical services, said that was because the site was not vacant, with the city’s roads, operations and fleet services teams, among others, missing from the area.
“[It’s] very active and almost all used land that would require very thoughtful efforts to determine what relocation would look like,” Willems told advisers on Monday.
The city will begin collecting public feedback this week. There will be a representative poll by telephone and online from August 30 to September 5. There will also be an online survey for businesses and residents from September 13 to October 3.
The results will be presented to the board in November before it makes the final decision.