TCU Place and SaskTel Centre are the top entertainment and convention centers in the city, but Saskatoon is outgrowing the buildings. Now consultants have been chosen to explore options for the facilities.
The first steps are in place to determine what the future of entertainment, hospitality and conference centers will look like in Saskatoon. SaskTel Centre and TCU Place have co-hired HLT Advisory Inc. and Conventional Wisdom Corp. to complete a market analysis.
The report will inform both boards and the city’s planning committee on long-term options for the future of these facilities.
“We need to start doing something, because one day we will wake up and find the market has passed us by,” SaskTel Centre CEO Will Lofdahl said.
The report will cost $261,000, but for both SaskTel Centre and TCU Place, it’s necessary homework before moving forward.
“We compete against other facilities that are newer and have better amenities, so we need to come up with a plan to bring our facilities to the level of the competition,” Lofdahl said.
“From our perspective if we don’t move we’re going to get left behind. National and international clients won’t want to come to Saskatoon,” TCU Place CEO Bob Korol explained Friday.
One option that is being looked at is a multifaceted downtown venue, but in the end the market analysis will decide what’s best for Saskatoon.
“The options are endless, it’s a blank slate at this point in time,” Lofdahl said.
“Could it be 10, 15, 20 years? Who knows? But the fact that we’re starting to look is what’s important,” he added, when asked about a timeline for the new facilities.
As for the report, it’s expected to be done by the end of the summer. However, that’s not a hard deadline according to Lofdahl.
WATCH BELOW: SaskTel Centre CEO Will Lofdahl with some of the upcoming events at the Saskatoon facility.