Centrium expansion proposal endorsed

Red Deer city council enthusiastically supported a $1 million grant on Monday to go towards expanding Enmax Centrium seating, with several councillors calling it an investment in economic development.



Red Deer city council enthusiastically supported a $1 million grant on Monday to go towards expanding Enmax Centrium seating, with several councillors calling it an investment in economic development.

Westerner Park hopes to use the unanimous show of support from council to leverage $1.75 million in provincial funding and $500,000 from Red Deer County.

The total cost of the project will be about $3.5 to $4 million, with Westerner Park picking up the share not covered by grants.

Westerner board president Michael Donlevy said the proposal to add 1,000 additional seats and 14 luxury boxes to the west end will create a facility better positioned to land significant events such as the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup and the Tim Hortons Brier.

Those two events alone could generate $35 million in economic spin-offs for host communities.

“So the city’s investment today will be returned 35 times over, just by that alone,” said Donlevy, shortly after council unanimously approved the funding request.

The Rebels have already announced they intend to bid on the 2013 Memorial Cup.

Boosting the seating from its current 6,000 seats and increasing the number of luxury boxes to 32 from 18 will turn the Centrium from what is a B-level venue for entertainment into an A-level facility, he said.

Westerner Park officials believe an upgraded facility could attract three to four more major concerts a year.

Adding luxury suites will also meet red-hot demand for the popular viewing areas. Forty-five to 50 businesses are already on a waiting list for luxury boxes. The plan is to set aside a couple of boxes that can be rented out to community groups for an evening.

If all goes to plan, the addition will be tendered late this year or early next year. Construction would take about six months and be completed before the Red Deer Rebels’ 2012-13 season.

Councillor Lynne Mulder said the city has been behind the Centrium since the beginning and the latest financial support is just a continuation of that commitment. The city has also showed similar support when the local curling club needed $1 million for its expansion project, she noted.

Councillor Chris Stephan said the benefits will extend beyond Westerner Park because it will attract more name events and drive economic development.

Bringing more events to Red Deer will spin off in more business for hotels and restaurants, said Councillor Paul Harris. That fits in with the county’s economic development strategy and will eventually lead to more tax revenues.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bloc Québécois MP Sebastien Lemire rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, March 12, 2021. A Bloc Québécois MP has apologized for taking a screen shot of a Liberal MP who inadvertently appeared nude during virtual proceedings in the House of Commons last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bloc Québécois MP apologizes for taking nude photo of Liberal MP William Amos

‘I have no idea how that photo made its way into the media’

FILE - This Sunday, June 25, 2017, file photo shows TK Holdings Inc. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. A driver in South Carolina is the latest person to be killed by an exploding Takata air bag inflator. Honda says that a faulty driver’s air bag blew apart in a crash involving a 2002 Honda Accord in Lancaster County, South Carolina. The company wouldn’t give details of the Jan. 9, 2021, crash near Charlotte, North Carolina, nor would it identify the person who was killed. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
South Carolina driver killed by exploding air bag inflator

Drivers can check to see if their vehicles have been recalled

Hospital staff shift the body of a COVID-19 patient on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance at a specialized COVID-19 hospital in Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, India, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Low on beds, oxygen, India adds global high 314K virus cases

Government rushing oxygen tankers to replenish hospital supplies

A traveler wearing a protective mask, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, walks through the nearly empty JetBlue terminal at Logan Airport in Boston, Friday, May 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charles Krupa
JetBlue expanding wings with service to Vancouver from New York and Boston

JetBlue will have to compete with Canadian airlines

Green Party MP Elizabeth May arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. An emergency parliamentary debate that was supposed to be a forum for cross-party collaboration on better ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has devolved into another round of partisan finger-pointing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emergency parliamentary debate on pandemic devolves into partisan finger-pointing

‘Let’s work together instead of playing terrible politics in this debate’

Westerner Park’s Exhibition Hall was used as a vaccination clinic on Wednesday. A steady stream of people came to get their COVID-19 shots either by appointment or as walk-ins. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
No long lineups at walk-in vaccination site in Red Deer

A steady stream of people walked into Westerner Park on Wednesday to… Continue reading

FILE - In this March 19, 2021, file photo, people take pictures of the Olympic rings installed by the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
Olympic bodies launch competitive series in virtual sports

Olympic body hopes to reach more young people

Linda Tomlinson
Gardening: Leave the lawn until the soil is dry

Spring is arriving, Alberta style with warm days, cold days and snow.… Continue reading

Silent protests were held recently in response to Red Deer Public Schools’ decision to reject a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week. Some former employees at Red Deer Public are saying the decision is misguided. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Letter: School board silencing Pride Week concern

While it has been our practice to not comment on matters arising… Continue reading

Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

New York Liberty guard Kia Nurse (5) shoots next to Indiana Fever's Kamiah Smalls during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. Nurse isn't just one of Canada's finest female basketball players, she's becoming a popular voice of the game as well. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Phelan M. Ebenhack
Canadian basketball star Nurse is carving out space in sports broadcasting at just 25

Canadian basketball star Nurse is carving out space in sports broadcasting at just 25

Most Read