City puts sports arena project on hold, moving ahead with new ice

The city has pressed pause in its endeavour to have a spectator sports arena built in Bridgeview.

Coun. Bruce Hayne stands on land in North Surrey back in June where a sports facility has been proposed.

SURREY — The city has pressed pause in its endeavour to have a spectator sports arena built in Bridgeview.

Coun. Bruce Hayne told the Now the city went out to the private sector for expressions of interest, and received “comprehensive and serious” proposals, but none were what they were looking for.

City council desired a project where the proponent would pay to construct the building, with the city offering up the land and relocating the North Surrey Arena there.

“But none of the proposals were actually able to take on the risk,” explained Hayne. “So ultimately, (in all the proposals) the city would be actually responsible to build the facility, and would also be responsible for any ongoing operations deficit as well.”

He added: “We just couldn’t in good conscious take on that kind of risk on behalf of the city.”

The city will keep the land earmarked for such a facility, said Hayne, in the hopes they can find other funding sources at a later time, be it a private venture or some combination of public-private funding.

Hayne stressed this decision won’t slow down the city’s plans to add ice sheets around the city, as promised in Mayor Linda Hepner’s State of the City Address in 2015.

The North Surrey Arena will be rebuilt on city-owned land at 12780 110th Ave., just west of Scott Road SkyTrain Station.

In Cloverdale, the city will be adding two sheets of ice in a new facility, and a third once the existing arena bites the dust.

It’s not yet known where the new Cloverdale facility will go, but that should be decided in the next couple of months, according to Hayne.

“If we haven’t already, we’re about to put out a request for proposals for design of those facilities. It’s our plan to start as quickly as possible to start to build those new community rinks,” said Hayne, stressing the current North Surrey facility wouldn’t be decommissioned until the new one was complete.

Hayne hopes to have shovels in the ground this year on both projects, with completion towards the end of 2017.

amy.reid@thenownewspaper.com

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