Morrow Park scored highest in a city-hired consultant’s short list of potential locations for a new arena to replace the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
In its feasibility study and locational analysis reports to be presented to city council on Monday, consultant group Sierra Planning and Management said after an extensive review of sites, it has a short-list of four locations for a new arena to replace the 63-year old Memorial Centre.
The consulting group identified the Memorial Centre as being “functionally obsolete” and were tasked with looking to identify what a new multi-use sports and event centre should look like and where it should be.
The report reviewed locations that could accommodate a 5,800-seat arena which would include retractable seating, 20 to 24 boxes, a centre stage, restaurant and concessions.
The report’s initial “long” list of potential sites has been narrowed down to four:
- Loblaws/No Frills on George Street
- Public works depot/garage on Townsend Street
- James Stevenson Park on Burnham Street (East City Bowl area)
- Morrow Park on Lansdowne Street West
Two other sites – General Electric on Park Street and the Canadian Canoe Museum on Monaghan Road – were removed from a short-list of six, citing costs for land acquisition and cleanup, traffic challenges and that both sites are outside the designated “central area” near the downtown.
The report says Morrow Park scored the highest in meeting criteria such as ease of land acquisition, centralization, proximity to the downtown and minimal risk of flooding and potential for expansion. The land is adjacent to the Memorial Centre.
The city currently has a longstanding agreement with the Peterborough Agricultural Society for use of the land which the report recognizes could be a challenge if the city attempts to find a new location for the society.
“(It’s) not in floodplain; not known to be contaminated and no heritage buildings,” the report states. “Demonstrated it can accommodate a second rink and civic spaces without encroaching on area reserved for exhibition use (in Agricultural Society Agreement).
Early budget estimates suggest a new arena would cost from $70 million to $90 million, depending on whether there is one ice pad or two.
“There is no capacity to add additional fixed seating to meet a modern standard of expectation for hosting major sporting events (5,000+ seats),” the report says of the Memorial Centre.
The report estimates continued repairs and upgrades to the Memorial Centre will cost more than $26 million over the next several decades.
“The increasing lack of functionality of the PMC, relative to its competition, is the most significant future risk. The required investment to maintain the building in essentially its current functional state is not supportable and is made more apparent when considering the likely future subsidies required to support annual operations over and above the required capital expenditures to maintain it.”