The City of Saskatoon has unveiled its plans for a Downtown Entertainment and Event District — what they hope will be a “game changer” for the city.
The new downtown core project is to include a new arena, as well as shopping spaces, restaurants, convention facilities and nightlife.
The city plans to have the arena and surrounding district connect to the rest of Saskatoon through a bus network.
Residents got a close look at the vision for the project on Thursday when new design concepts were shared during an event at TCU Place.
“This is an opportunity for people in Saskatoon to see how the vision for the District could become reality,” Dan Willems, director of the city’s technical services, transportation and construction division, said in a statement. “Up until now we have been talking about the District in very abstract terms, but these images help put context and meaning to the idea of an active space that is open to all.”
In the design concepts, the arena is labelled “Saskatchewan Place.” It shows a transformed 22nd Street in both the summer and winter.
“Our vibrant downtown core will become a prime destination for business events, sporting events and cultural events,” Discover CEO Stephanie Clovechok said in a release. “This is about revitalizing the heart of our community, retaining talent, and enhancing the livability of our city.”
The land where the arena will sit has already been purchased by the city. The initial land purchase for Midtown Plaza’s north parking lot added up to $25 million. An additional $17.3 million was spent to purchase surrounding land.
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“We are looking to do this in a way that doesn’t put pressure on property taxes, but finds other sources of revenue,” Saskatoon mayor Jeremy Clark said Thursday.
Recently the city began searching for a potential private partner for the project to help manage the proposed arena and explore ways to secure more funding.