On Friday, Sudbury Wolves owner Dario Zulich vaguely stated, “Very soon we’ll be playing in a brand new arena somewhere,” raising questions about what the new incarnation of City Council might face in the October 24 election.
With Sudbury Wolves owner Dario Zulich vaguely stating that a “brand new arena” is on the horizon for the hockey team, questions have been raised.
“We won’t be staying here much longer,” Zulich said during Friday. New scoreboard unveiled At Sudbury Community Arena.
“The Sudbury Wolves, we’ll soon be playing in a brand new arena somewhere, somewhere,” he added, noting the termination of “the last few years of the lease.”
“We are not going to be here forever, I can tell you that. Soon we will be playing in a brand new arena somewhere.”
The Sudbury Wolves’ current lease with Sudbury Community Arena expires on May 31, 2024, and includes three one-year extensions until a final expiration date of May 31, 2027. The Sudbury Five basketball team, which Zulich also owns and operates out of the downtown plaza, maintains a contract Annual rent with the city.
Zulich was a principal partner/land developer for the Kingsway Entertainment District – a municipal arena/event center proposed to be accompanied by a private casino and hotel on a property in The Kingsway that he owns.
The arena/events center was intended to replace the 70-year-old Sudbury Community Arena until cost overruns led to City Council He rejected the $215 million offer in July.
The cancellation of the KED has led to uncertainty about how or whether the city will proceed on a new or renewed circuit. Although city council Kingsway’s choice As a preferred location for a new arena/event center in 2017, other locations were also considered.
that alternative plan Includes renovation of the existing Sudbury Community Arena. Although the city employees have explained that the elderly plaza is hold up wellIt will require millions of dollars in replenishment in the coming years to remain viable.
The city is currently nearly 84.8 million dollars set aside for the Arena project, having already spent $5.2 million of the $90 million they received in debt to KED.
Although Zulich definitely In a conversation with Sudbury.com in April, Sudbury Wolves “will never leave Sudbury,” Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan said he’s not sure.
“As you sit down and analyze the situation closely, unless the desire of the new council is to build a new yard within the next several years, Mr. Zoelich may have to move to another city,” he wrote in a recent post. To the Valley East Facebook page where he moderates.
“It is now essential for all mayor and council candidates to make their position clear. We need to know if they are committed to renovating the Sudbury Community Arena or building a new alternative.”
That commitment should also be to build said plaza in the most cost-effective location, Kirwan said, adding that a location in the city center could prove to be prohibitively expensive. Previous reports He noted that the former downtown options would be more expensive than Kingsway.
Kirwan has been one of KED’s most vocal supporters on the city council. The Kingsway site is located inside Suite 11, whose advisor, Bill Leduc, has been a longtime advocate.
In a conversation with Sudbury.com, Leduc reiterated Kirwan’s concern that Wolves might be forced to relocate, and that if the team isn’t as a principal tenant, there is no need for a new arena.
“There are other municipalities that welcome the opportunity of a semi-professional team like the Wolves team to come and play in their city,” he said.
As for Zoellick’s comment about a “completely new” plaza indicating his desire for a new plaza rather than renovating the existing space, Leduc said it should be up to the public.
“The public is so tired now that I think we have to go back to the public and actually get their opinion on how they want to go forward,” he said.
Taking note of the vague comments of Zulich, KED’s outspoken opponent, Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoriti said he hoped he would honor his earlier statement that the wolves would never leave Sudbury.
“He is a businessman, he has to take care of his business and I am glad he is passionate about wolves and hockey in the North,” said Signoriti, adding that there was certainly enough support in the Greater Sudbury area for the hockey club to find continued success.
“Hopefully we can work with him to improve the situation on the scene for wolves, but it should make financial sense for Greater Sudbury taxpayers.”
In an open letter sent to the mayor and council, the president of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, John Lindsay, said the KED death provides a good opportunity for the city council elected on October 24 to reconsider a potential renovation of the historic downtown plaza.
Sudbury.com arrived this year The whole list Candidates for City Council to inquire about how they think the city should move forward in a new or renewed arena (or if the city should), what role the city should play and whether they have a cost limit in mind.
The resulting story, which highlights what all of the responding candidates are saying, will be shown later this week.
As for the mayoral candidates, Lindsay noted that an all-candidate meeting is scheduled to take place at the Parkside Senior Center (140 Durham Street) on October 1 starting at 1:30 p.m. hosted by the Canadian Association of Retirees and Sudbury Arts. Council, it will be another opportunity for mayor candidates to highlight their programs.
Sudbury.com reached out to Zulich for comment, who indicated he intended to respond soon.
Tyler Clark covers City Council and Politics for Sudbury.com.