Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Da lil Guy on 09/17/13 at 04:25 PM ET
Even as the NHL is keeping its eye on a proposed Arena in Seattle, a group that has been pushing for an Arena in Markham, Ontario (just North of Toronto) has come forward with a new financing proposal that they hope will breath new life into their plan for a new 20,000 seat rink in the GTA.
Markham, ON, September 17, 2013 — GTA Sports & Entertainment announced today a new option for the financial framework for the proposed GTA Centre. This new option proposes that GTA Centre, LP would be responsible for funding all costs towards the construction of the GTA Centre above a maximum amount of $162.5 million, which the City of Markham would facilitate through receiving private sector developer contributions.
As a result of this new option for the financial framework, the City of Markham would no longer need to borrow $325 million — as in the original financial framework option that was approved by an 11-2 vote by City Council in April 2012 — and the GTA Centre would be 100% privately funded.
Two leading investment banking firms, Wall Street firm Jefferies LLC and Bay Street firm Canaccord Genuity have joined the GTA Centre team to support this new option.
Markham City Council had previously approved a proposal would have required the City to take out $325 million in loans, half of which would have been repaid by development charges and half of the loan would have been repaid by private interests. However, the previous approval was based on the potential for a second NHL franchise in the GTA - but with the NHL appearing to covet expansion into Quebec City and Seattle over a second Toronto area franchise, support has soured. Citing the declining NHL interest and the need to avoid creating a situation in Markham similar to Hamilton's underused and aging Copps Coliseum, former supporter of the proposal and Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath had reportedly planned to bring forward notice of a motion to kill the previously approved framework as early as tonight's City Council meeting.
According to GTA Sports and Entertainment and its President former Bauer Chairman Graeme Roustan, the proposal will work even without an NHL team, but obviously they're still hoping to attract the league's interest - and that the new financing option will convince City Council and the Public to support their plan. Roustan's new financial partners may also believe that there's room for a second NHL Club in the GTA.
(Also, TSN coverage)
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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