WATCH ABOVE: 42 per cent of those who responded to an online survey about Rexall Place’s future see it as very important to Edmonton. But can two arenas survive? Vinesh Pratap reports.
EDMONTON – The majority of respondents to a Northlands survey on the future of Rexall Place said they would like the arena to stay.
Forty per cent of those who participated in the survey would like the arena to be repurposed, 30 per cent would like it to remain as is, while 14 per cent would like it demolished. (Read the full survey results below.)
“The data that we took was what we felt was worth value, we thought it was significant and we think it gave us a great start to start to shortlist how many options we have moving forward,” said Tim Reid, president and CEO of Northlands.
“Clearly people see a future for Rexall Place in Edmonton and that was one of the key takeaways for me,” added Mack Male, the engagement subcommittee chair.
Respondents were also asked if they believe two major arenas could survive in Edmonton, to which 46 per cent said yes, while 32 said no. The rest weren’t sure.
Roughly 80 per cent of participants believe Rexall Place should be used in the future to host special events, concerts, performances and family shows.
When asked how important the old arena is personally, half of the respondents said somewhat important, 20 per cent said very important, while 24 per cent said not important.
More than 26,000 people completed the online survey.
The Northlands Arena Strategy Committee is visiting Toronto, Vancouver and possibly Ottawa, to see other similar developments.
The committee will deliver a report by April 15 which will include: facility and design recommendations, estimated operating, facility and site cost projections, construction plan and times, facility and site use plans, as well as community support for the recommendation.
The Edmonton Oilers are scheduled to move to Rogers Place Arena downtown for the start of the 2016-2017 NHL season.