Arena Expectations Lowered


After months of toying around with the idea of developing an arena complex in Chatham featuring an arena that seats 4,000, Chatham-Kent council decided to instead think a bit smaller.

At Monday’s council meeting held in Tilbury, Chatham-Kent council decided to put their support in building a twin-pad arena featuring a 2,200 seat arena, a 200 seat arena and multi-sport complex that will have a maximum project cost of $60 million.

Chatham-Kent is preparing to apply for provincial and federal government funding to pay for at least $36 million of the cost. Chatham-Kent is looking to pay $18.5 million, from municipal reserves or debt financing.

“If Chatham wanted to bring in top-name entertainment artists or an OHL team, a 4,000 seat arena is a must,” said Nathan Trudell, who heads up Build the Complex CK, an advocacy group dedicated to bringing a new multi-million dollar arena to the region,

Trudell said the decision to go smaller and adding a multi-sport complex is fiscally irresponsible, because a larger arena will have a greater economic impact.

He calls it a huge missed opportunity for Chatham-Kent.