More options on the table for Northlands Coliseum, mayor says – Edmonton

There are more options on the table for the future of Northlands Coliseum.

Mayor Don Iveson said the city will be looking for a private real estate company to redevelop the land.

“That might be another solution that doesn’t have taxpayers on the hook,” Iveson said at city hall Wednesday.

However, Iveson said no new information has been brought forward to council that would suggest an economic benefit to the city by keeping the historic building open.

The mayor has not ruled out demolishing the old arena. But he said the best course of action is to find out first exactly how much demolishing the building would cost.

In September, Northlands estimated the cost of demolition at $8 million. A report presented to city council Tuesday showed different numbers, projecting the cost of demolition at between $15 million to $25 million.

Before the building can be taken down, it would have to be stripped of environmental hazards such as asbestos. Some elements of the building, including copper wiring, could be saved for re-sale at a later date.

The mayor said he is reconsidering the arena’s future because of public pushback against demolition. He said he wants to bring the options of demolition or redevelopment to the public in the new year.

“I just got frustrated thinking about how much the demolition was going to cost,” Iveson said

The Coliseum opened in 1974 and has been called many names since — the Edmonton Coliseum, Skyreach Centre and Rexall Place. The Edmonton Oilers won five Stanley Cups in a decade when the Coliseum was their home arena.

Northlands is set to close on Jan. 1, when the Coliseum and the land north of 118th Avenue will become the city’s responsibility. The rest of the land south of 118th Avenue will become property of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC).

Iveson is hoping to bring both options to an area redevelopment planning committee early in the new year.

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