The KED or Kingsway Entertainment District future looks bleak after latest decision. The Sudbury Wolves of the OHL have been looking to upgrade and relocate its arena now for a few years. Today’s latest decision by the LPAT will once again put that dream on ice, metaphorically speaking.
The Sudbury, Ontario news outlet Sudbury.com is reporting today that the LPAT hearing date has been once again pushed back. The new timeline for the KED hearing is not until May 2020. This will enrage some of the communities staunch supporters of the project and excite some of the projects strictest opposers.
The KED Development which was approved by the previous Sudbury City Council was suppose to host a brand new Sudbury Arena, Casino and Hotel. The arena was also originally scheduled to open in 2020. However, the development has been met with insane resistance from some high profile community members.
Also Read: Senators Should Stay In Kanata
The Sudbury Wolves which play in a terribly outdated arena in the city’s dilapidated downtown core are the anchor tenant of the current Sudbury Community Arena.
Sudbury Businessman and current owner of the Sudbury Wolves, Dario Zulich, has been in a struggle to have a new arena built at the Minnow Lake location. The arena decision has been met with protest and appeals since the Greater Sudbury City Council approved the project.
This latest decision by the LPAT to have some sort of resolution will most likely have a negative impact on residents of the city. The current lease between the SWSE (Sudbury Wolves Sports Entertainment) and the city is expected to expire far before the new arena and district could possibly be developed.
The negotiating power will have all the scales tipped in favour of the Sudbury Wolves group. Given they are the anchor tenant and really the only game in town besides The Sudbury Five, which they own, it looks like city residents will suffer an imbalanced agreement if they want to keep the team in howl town.
Meanwhile many cities across North America which have had troubles building arenas have come to agreements on builds. You can look to Calgary and Long Island as further examples of cities prepared to move forward and make progress.
The New York Islanders are moving there new home into Belmont Park. That state of the art arena will also be nowhere near the cities downtown. The city is actually building transit to accommodate the high profile 19,000 seat project.
This delay will only be one more nail for the coffin of the KED. The project which is scheduled to include a casino and hotel might not look so attractive for investors now that more delays are a reality.
The one big question that is on the mind of many Sudbury Wolves fans is if the team will be sold or relocated if this project is ultimately kiboshed. The team is currently playing in an old arena that needs millions of dollars in renovations.
The renovations that can be done to the old girl will not only fall short of expectations, but won’t do anything to solve the parking woes in the city core. Given any renovation would take some time to complete we would also have the questions of where the team would play if the renos couldn’t be completed on time.
The Wolves deserve a better arena to play in and it will be very difficult to attract future talent if they can’t provide the same facilities and amenities as the kids receive in Southern, Ontario. At some point you have to look at what it is and remove your heart off your sleeve.
The Wolves have been a part of the Sudbury Community for decades and if they leave town it will be a huge blow to the community. Look for the debate to ramp up in the coming months as the time line inches closer to a new lease agreement.