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City council awaiting final price for multi-use indoor sports facility

By CJ Goater Nov 28, 2023 | 1:08 PM

Thunder Bay City Council - Acadia Broadcasting File

City council has finalized and approved a $38-million financing strategy for the Multi-use Indoor Sports Facility, which would be built beside Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.

During last week’s committee of the whole, a proposed financing strategy was set at roughly $44 million and was referred to be adjusted, with a budget cap of $30 million. However, the strategy would have potentially resulted in a possible field size reduction, which would dramatically impact the facility’s economic viability.

“There are no extra amenities to cut out, so you would have to cut the most and part of the project the field size. This will lead to half the turf user groups not having a place to play, limiting options for tournaments, and the reduction for potential for trade shows and other events,” explained Soccer Northwest Ontario President Michael Veneziale during a deputation at council where he encouraged them to move forward with the facility.

Council also determined adjusting the field size was not the ideal course of action and approved the new financing strategy which capped spending, and also reduced the building standard to simply Ontario Building Code-compliant, meaning it would not be required to meet the city’s design standards or the LEED Silver environmental certification council.

The budget cap excludes site development and extras such as parking.

The new strategy has a new report back in March which will see a review of the operating business model, business plan, and options/price associated with the possibility of achieving city design and Leed Silver standards presented to council.

Administration is also set to complete environmental and geotechnical assessments during this time.

The next step if all goes well during administration’s report back would be a competitive procurement process to advance the realization of the facility.