In Thunder Bay there is currently a huge debate over which we should built a new multiplex/event center or if we should put the idea aside and save the money for something else. Personally, I believe that this is something we need to build and something we need to design for both today and the future. In my mind, there are really a couple of different options when it comes to this idea.
1) We build the multiplex today and try out best to make it work economically
2) We build a smaller arena to please people again the spending of 80 million
3) We don’t build, and in 20 years when the FWG need massive investments; we spend the money to upgrade the facility.
4) We don’t build, and when the FWG need investment. We close the building and go without a major arena.
Like I’ve stated before I believe that this is something we need to do and we should have had a plan in place years ago. The FWG has served the community for close to 60 years but it doesn’t meet the demands of the city anymore. It rarely holds concerts because of its small capacity, its not handicapped accessible and it will soon be in need of major renovations again. I believe that a new arena will allow the city to get concerts and events that currently pass through town with a larger arena adding a economic stimulus to the city. I also believe with the addition of the Winnipeg Jets back to Winnipeg that they would like to have there farm team reasonably close to the main team and that an AHL team could be in the future. Now it comes down to money, and the city has already stated that without the funding from federal, provincial and private that this project cannot go ahead. The city has put aside 25 million to leverage the other levels of government to build this arena.
This is something that needs to happen even if you don’t like hockey or concerts. The city’s population continues to age and I would hate to have to ask a huge number of pensioners to add another tax to there bill because we didn’t do this back 20-40 yrs ago.
Putting things off to the side and pretending they aren’t there doesn’t fix the problem.