Report Urges Council Not To Pursue OHL Arena

Chatham Memorial Arena

Chatham’s Memorial Arena could be Chatham-Kent’s primary arena for years to come after a report aims to scrap all plans for an OHL sized arena in Chatham – Photo by Helen Heath

Chatham-Kent council will hear a report, and vote on the recommendations Monday, urging council not to pursue an OHL sized arena in Chatham-Kent.

The report states, ” Based on factors such as lack of a preferred downtown location, high capital cost, no federal or provincial funding contributions, potential municipal risks assumed with a lease agreement, large annual deficits, and the loss of a 65 year Jr. B hockey presence, it is recommended that an OHL arena not be pursued for Chatham-Kent.”

Cost for an OHL sized arena, as described in the report is between $42 and $67 million.

Also included in the report is an overview of a potential $4.8 million renovation to the aging Memorial Arena. Memorial Arena was build in 1949.

Finally, the report listed next steps, which involved spending up to $55,000 on a consultant to conduct an Arena Feasibility Study, which would not include an OHL sized arena option.

Bringing the OHL to Chatham-Kent has long been a goal of many politicians and area businesspeople. The OHL most recently became an option for Chatham-Kent when the Plymouth Whalers were looking for a new home. Plymouth eventually chose Flint, Michigan over Chatham-Kent.

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