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Economy

New poll shows most Edmonton residents want city to run Northlands

K-Days fair grounds, Northlands, in Edmonton.
K-Days fair grounds, Northlands, in Edmonton. Global News

A new poll shows the majority of Edmontonians want the City of Edmonton to operate the Northlands facilities.

Fifty-seven per cent of those surveyed in a Mainstreet Research poll released Monday want the city take over responsibility of the facilities, which it currently owns, even if it means spending more tax dollars.

Thirty-four per cent said Northlands should run the facilities even if it operates at a loss and nine per cent aren’t sure who should run them.

READ MORE: Northlands Vision 2020 doing too much with too little: City of Edmonton

Meanwhile, the poll shows people are split on the Vision 2020 proposal to convert the coliseum into a multi-sheet hockey and curling venue. Thirty four per cent support the idea, 34 per cent oppose it and 32 per cent are unsure.

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The Vision 2020 proposal also includes converting parts of Northlands into a festival and converting a venue large enough to host 100,000 people. Forty-seven per cent support that idea, 27 per cent say no and 26 per cent are unsure.

When asked if they approve of selling part of the Northlands land to developers to help offset re-development costs, 29 per cent answered yes, 32 per cent said no and 39 per cent remained undecided.

In early 2017, city staff will report back to council with options for the multiplex and the convention centres.

READ MORE: New $165M vision for Northlands includes 7-sheet ice facility, outdoor concert space

In August, the city said Northlands’ plan to overhaul the arena, EXPO Centre and horse racing track overestimates the amount of revenue the changes would bring in, and underestimates the cost of the massive overhaul.

Northlands CEO Tim Reid said the city’s report is well-researched, but believes it may have been off with some of the financials because Northland’s vision included assumed investment from the private sector, which the city didn’t take into consideration in its analysis.

New Poll shows support for city operating Northlands

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