Hamilton’s arena debate has been put on ice for another week.
City council has voted to defer the “entertainment precinct” issue until next Wednesday’s general issues committee.
It is also inviting Hamilton Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer to the September 18 meeting to explain his proposal for an arena on the central mountain and to answer questions.
Councillors also hope Andlauer will agree to make the details of his proposal public at that meeting.
Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark notes that “there’s a lot of discussion going on in the community, and it’s challenging to say to your residents and constituents, ‘Sorry, I can’t talk about that because that’s an in-camera item.'”
Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson agrees there are a lot of unanswered questions, including how much this arena would cost and how much Andlauer is willing to contribute to “who will own the land it sits on?”
Hamilton politicians will ultimately have to decide whether to consider entering into a partnership with Andlauer and Cadillac Fairview to build an arena for the junior hockey team, along with a parking garage, at Limeridge Mall.
The proposal comes at a time when the city is also considering the potential for redevelopment of its three aging downtown entertainment venues, the Hamilton Convention Centre, Hamilton Place and the 17,000-seat FirstOntario Centre where the Bulldogs currently play their home games.
A motion approved last week at city hall would establish a steering committee to explore private-public partnership opportunities.
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