With Moncton’s new events centre as the backdrop, the city announced plans to put in a bid for one of Canada’s most prestigious curling events.
“Putting in a bid on the Brier says that this centre is world class and we can attract the best in the world here to Moncton,” said Dawn Arnold, Moncton’s mayor.
The city has been touting the new $100-million arena, which is expected to breathe new life into Moncton’s downtown core.
Last year, the city handed out $47 million in building permits for the downtown core alone. Not included in those numbers is a new $17-million hotel named, “Hyatt Place Moncton,” which is slated to begin construction in the coming days.
“When developers see their colleagues, then they’re more likely to say, ‘You know, the time is right. I’m going to get in now,'” says John Wishart, the president of the Moncton Chamber of Commerce.
Similar gains were seen in Kingston, Ont., when the Rogers K-Rock Centre opened its doors over a decade ago. Both venues are managed by the same company, SMG Canada. The new General Manager, who also helped to open and run the Kingston site, says he predicts some of the same gains will be felt in Moncton’s downtown core
“I know people are scared right now, but that’s something I know will work, because I’ve seen it. I have that experience to guide me through that process,” said Nick DeLuco, the centre’s new general manager.
One of the concerns about the event centre’s location is parking — or the lack thereof. Many event goers are used to attending events at the Coliseum, where there is an abundance of parking. However, city officials say it isn’t necessarily a parking experience they’re looking to sell.
“You’ve gotta have a cornerstone to build around, and that’s where this building is really going to do the job for us and make Moncton a go-to destination,” Coun. Greg Turner said.
Construction of the new arena is expected to be complete in July with the grand opening slated for September.
The first concert announced was Keith Urban and it sold out in mere hours. Only time will tell if this is a sign of what the future holds for the multi-million dollar facility.