Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday June 30 2015
3:43 PM EDT
2014-04-15 at 20:48

Citizens for a Waterfront Event Centre hosting rally next month

Jason Susin makes a speech Tuesday evening.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Jason Susin makes a speech Tuesday evening.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- A local committee wants to reward the city for its due diligence on a proposed event centre with a rally next month.

The Citizens for a Waterfront Event Centre is hoping 2,000 people will join them on the parking lot of the Water Street Bus Terminal, the preferred location for a centre, May 10 for a barbecue and boot hockey game to support the city's initiative and show the private sector how much support there is for the project.

"This is probably the best project we've seen put together in a long time," committee chair Jason Susin said Tuesday evening at Rooster's Bistro, where the group held an open house to find volunteers for the event.

About 50 people, a balanced mixture of young and old, showed up at Tuesday's recruitment drive. 

Member Greg Alexander, no relation to the city's community and emergency services manager of the same name, said he's been waiting for more than 20 years for a new arena in the city. He remembers when the city decided to renovate the Fort William Gardens instead of building a new sports complex.

"This time around I just don't want to see that happen again," he said.

Alexander said he wouldn't support an event centre if funding from the provincial and federal government wasn't in place but so far the city is moving in the right direction to get the money in place.

Winnipeg's David Kiesman saw how the MTS Centre transformed his downtown, from jobs to concerts to the NHL. Restaurants and bars, something Thunder Bay has already seen increase in the downtown North core, also benefit. Living in Thunder Bay since January, he's hoping his new city follows in the direction of his hometown.

"A city's got to invest in itself," he said.

The group is hoping to get at least 20 volunteers to help plan the event.

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Dan Dan says:
This should function as a sort-of mini-plebiscite. The "Concerned Taxpayers" seniors group managed about 100 attendees for the "No" side. Let's see how many turn out for the "Yes" side. I'm thinking it will be at least five times as many.
4/18/2014 1:41:49 PM
Rbosch says:
I must apologize to Mr. Powell. In my earlier post, I erroneously referred to him as Mr. Powers. Please accept my apology. (I fixed it for you -- Leith)
4/18/2014 12:03:02 PM
RBosch says:
Interestingly enough , the councillors in waitng were Doug Powell, Kim Coreau and dioane Armstrong. Mr. Powell wanted to campaign but did listen to the facts fro the committee, as opposed to the other side, who had no hard facts to discuss. Ms.Coreau did engage several members of the committee and stayed to the end, wanting to discuss such matters that suited her. She was asked directly, once again, if all the money was in place, the LOI was signed and the business plan indicated it was feasible, would she support the Event Centre at this site and her response was still non-committal. Ms. Armstrong was there to campaign also, but she did sign up to volunteer, unlike the others. Perhaps the strangest and most ridiculous of all was Henry Wojak showing up with the sole purpose of trying to sway people to his position. At the end of the day, 3 out of the 4 candidates who showed up, just didn't get it; we were there to solicit volunteers for the May 10th Rally.
4/16/2014 2:53:40 PM
The Cougar says:
Ha ha ha!

Oh that Henry Wojak. He's going to be in "waiting" quite a long time.
4/16/2014 4:49:04 PM
RBosch says:
Having finished reading the SDuncan report as of 2:35, I as one of the organizing committee for the Downtown North Core Event Centre Group would like to respond and possibly clear up a few misconeptions, as they may be called.

The Organizing committee is comprised of 13 individuals that live in both the North Core and the South core. The ages vary from mid thirties to mid sixties with two members being retired. NOT ONE of the members of the committee own a business in the downtown, but I sure wish I did. The purpose of last night's meeting was to recruit volunteers for our planned Rally on May 10, 2014, not to be a show of support for all. Fifty five citizens showed up and we signed about 10 volunteers up for the various sub-committees with a number of the others taking forms home to fill out and return after deliberation. Surprisingly a number of potential councillors did show up and their intent was to a)see what this is all about and b)do some campaigning.
4/16/2014 2:40:26 PM
reese says:
Having spent winters in Abbotsford up until the 1990,s it was a community of multiple churches and religious schools
Now it is at thee top of the violent crimes per capita list what happened hockey?
The arena must be a recent addition to the community
4/16/2014 12:55:54 PM
Robert Bob says:
The propsed new Event centre will end up losing money each and every year. Sault Ste. Marie city loses well over 500K each year since the new Essar centre was built. They host 134 events plus hockey. 40 % of the time the place sits empty. Operating cost are high, tax payers end up footing the bill. Thunder Bay only option would be to have Private Enterprise build.operate and maitain the centre for 20 years and see if they can eek out some Profit. Spin off ecomomic benefits hardly tangible, its a best guess "estimated" number, Job creation maybe we can hire more foregin workers for concession stands and ticket taking. Build it they will come to downtown PA. Parking Fees are a money maker, event parking will cost 20.00 for 2 hrs.
4/16/2014 12:09:10 PM
john says:
13 comments posted by S Duncan at 11:30 am - time of my writing this.

Do you have a job? Do you even contribute to the tax base that you are so fervently defending?
4/16/2014 11:32:28 AM
S Duncan says:
Does it matter to you what I do?

is it any of your business?

and does it pertain to this discussion?

or is it just some lame attempt to attack my person because you cannot effectively debate the content of my comments?
4/16/2014 1:02:04 PM
adubs says:
Whoa... you attack everyone who posts an opinion that you disagree with. You can't accuse someone of not being able to effectively debate when you don't effectively debate yourself. You're very aggressive and a bully on this site. You've made personal attacks and judgements towards several people on many articles. I actually can't believe they post some of the comments that come out of your mouth. As a previous small business owner in the 'welfare district', I'm offended and appalled that you would bash members of the community who are trying to make a living and make this city something we can be proud of.
4/16/2014 2:11:22 PM
The Beaver..... says:
ARTIE ...we wont and therein lies the problem
4/16/2014 11:23:00 AM
signman says:
The Chamber of Commerce stated in their February report this year.
"Taxes will reach alarming levels if municipal spending continues to increase at the current rate."
What is driving the Mayor, City Manager Tim Commisso and council to pursue this Event Centre that we don't know?
4/16/2014 11:09:28 AM
The Beaver..... says:
Enquirer no need for consultants
one call to Abbotsford was all that was needed
4/16/2014 11:05:29 AM
ARTIE says:
Can't wait to see this project completed. It will be great to see the entertainment that we as a city can bring here. Enough of the Debbie downers trying to bring us all down to your level.If you don't like it don't go.
4/16/2014 10:24:25 AM
S Duncan says:
Its not about going, or not liking it.

Its about paying for it!

How dare these welfare hounds steal money to pay for their entertainment.

if you want me to support it and stop calling it welfare, all you have to do is pay for it yourselves.

If this was a community effort instead of just forcing some crappy hockey team and ugly tent building on us, I would be behind it all the way.

I like to go to shows as much as the next person. I enjoy a good, fast hockey game too.

but I don't want to pay for it for everybody else. I would pay when I want to go see a game or concert, but to just tack it onto my property taxes? without giving me an option out of it?

sorry, that's just low down thievery, and I will never support that or the people that advocate for it.

4/16/2014 11:07:45 AM
S Duncan says:
I think businesses in the welfare district should be presented with a contract, much like a hockey team one, that ensures they will pay the $1.3 Million/year operating losses for the welfare dome.

If they are going to benefit from it so much, surely they can start paying for it. They aren't just asking for a handout, are they?

How about everything over the construction costs they are responsible for?

how about the support group? Maybe they can put their names on a contract guaranteeing funding for this "sure thing"?
4/16/2014 10:12:14 AM
Wolfie says:
I can't believe I'm going to reply to your trolling again, but here goes...

"I think businesses in the welfare district should be presented with a contract, much like a hockey team one, that ensures they will pay the $1.3 Million/year operating losses for the welfare dome."

They will be paying for it, at least partially, through increased property taxes resulting from increased assessed property values in the area as the result of the arena.
4/16/2014 10:42:22 AM
Knauffer says:
He throws around the term welfare but doesn't even know what the word means. Same with other words. And on top insults a hardworking tax paying neighbourhood while downplaying the fact he is from probably the lowest tax paying neighbourhood in the city.
He is a troll and spends 18 hours a day refreshing these pages lol.
Fact is the business owners in the downtown area deserve a huge word in this as their taxes and hard work keep the area afloat for people who enjoy going out and living life in the real world (most of us).
4/16/2014 11:03:43 AM
S Duncan says:
Wow, another crystal ball owner huh?

Why you so concerned about me or what I do?

You see, that's the problem we are facing. We have a small group of welfare domies trying to tell the rest of the taxpayers how and where their hard earned money should be going.

Why do the welfare district businesses think my hard earned money should go to support them?

Cant they get enough customers on their own? Maybe if they stopped begging for handouts all the time people might be a little more likely to patronize them?

Til then, keep on hatin me at least I wont be trying to steal your hard earned money.
4/16/2014 3:15:29 PM
Richy says:
It's great to see how things in Thunder Bay never change. This city deserves what it gets NOTHING !!!!
4/16/2014 10:05:58 AM
S Duncan says:
Nobody deserves anything except what you pay for.

Unless you pay for it with your own money that you worked hard to attain, nothing else matters.
4/16/2014 1:20:13 PM
Papercut says:
This is a lobby group formed by the BUSINESS of the AREA. Nothing more.

The BIG Questions are:

1) Can we afford to build this?

2) Can we afford the yearly cost to run this?

4/16/2014 9:49:43 AM
S Duncan says:
A nice line from the article..

"One Abbotsford city councillor clapped halfheartedly at the pronouncement. Others sat in stunned silence. The mayor tried again; it is an election year. “We will not be subsidizing private enterprises or businesses in the future,” he declared"

Of course our city council considers themselves "leaders" and all knowing. We must forge ahead paying no attention to the financial mess that's so obviously right before our eyes.

These pro welfare dome people would march right off a cliff patting themselves on the back for bringing welfare hockey to Thunder Bay.

They will proudly march down the chutes onto the killing floor to meet their fate and tell us how positive and forward thinking they are.
4/16/2014 10:04:01 AM
old vienna says:
Gerda Perchey summed it up best with her comment from this article. The informed mayor Hobbs and the informed councillor ruberto read this it's for you:

'Abbotsford Heat'. From beginning to end, a SLICK deal for the Calgary Flames, (and the local private owners), and a SICK deal for Abbotsford taxpayers.

Local councils have no business trying to play with the big boys. Private business ventures know how to run big business and big entertainment.

But when government wades in with the public purse, someone always gets hurt, and it is not those on the public dole, it is the 'little people' whose hard-earned wages are extracted to pay for the foolish, frivolous antics of such leadership.

While mayor and council played big-shot with tax dollars, the infrastructure repair and upkeep got pushed aside in our city.

4/16/2014 11:56:32 AM
ring of fire dude says:
On a positive note ; the City can host all the free movie nights it wants in the Events Center since it will be empty 80-90% of the time .
4/16/2014 9:08:41 AM
Pandora says:
In thinking about this...interesting these people, I'm guessing the organizers are made up of downtown business people and their strategy is to hold an event... free hotdogs and boot hockey(nicely marketed). Yes, if the sun is shinning you will get a decent turn out. The kids from the skate park will be thrilled. And Who doesn't like a FREE Hotdog. But when it comes to forking out $30. for a hockey ticket when the temperature is -35, the wind is blowing off the Lake and you have to walk 3 blocks I have to wonder what kind of turn out you will get.
I too believe it's a done deal and I'm only hoping we see a considerable Private Sector Investment and a Fund Raising component.
4/16/2014 8:45:52 AM
bttnk says:
See you on May 10!

Should be well supported. After we are all done showing our support for the event centre and playing boot hockey, feel free to stop into one of about 20 different pubs and eateries within a few blocks for a cold pint. Or take a stroll along the beautiful waterfront. Take some time to enjoy Thunder Bays entertainment district.
4/16/2014 8:40:01 AM
S Duncan says:
great!. is there somewhere down there I can get a haircut?

or is it purely entertainment only?
4/16/2014 11:32:31 AM
fastball says:
I can count 3 barbershops within a 3 minute drive of each other down there.
Just in the faint hope you were serious.
4/16/2014 9:22:46 PM
S Duncan says:
I don't want to drive 3 minutes, I want to walk! All the parking spots will be filled up.

Is there somewhere I can walk to and be entertained in the welfare district.
4/17/2014 10:06:35 AM
The Beaver..... says:
well.. many familiar faces that got us in to the Waterfront mess at it again.
4/16/2014 8:19:30 AM
sam says:
I would love to watch AHL hockey in a new facility, but as we can we can see from the Abbotsford fiasco, the bar is vey high for support. This is why the primary objective of the event center should be to get the maximum number of bums in the seats. In my opinion Innova Park with easy access and parking has the best chance to achieve that goal. It seems like we want to use the facility downtown as an economic development tool, well the tool is not going to work very well if it is empty because you lose your anchor tenant down the road.
4/16/2014 8:14:28 AM
Pandora says:
How about you folks that support this project start a 'Fund Raising Initiative' and really show your support. Raise a million dollars. In my mind this would be the ultimate way to gage true support for this project or any similar project.
In the US the State holds Lotteries for large stadiums, arenas etc. and the people who want to support can put their money where their VOTE is possibly better than plebiscite !
4/16/2014 8:05:31 AM
123whatnext says:
This interest of hockey support is all like the past teams in Thunder Bay. Everyone wanted and got the Ottawa farm team, Thunder Bay Senators, but after a bit time with dwindling attendance coupled with team profit loss, the team vacated Thunder Bay.
I hope this is not history in repetition.
4/16/2014 7:40:48 AM
Det John Kimble says:
You state a big part of the problem! people have short memories and history does have a habit of repeating.
This AHL team that has ANNOUNCED it is coming here, seems to think the Centre is a foregone conclusion.
SO what do they know that we don't? Who are they talking to? Or are they just spinning this for public support?
What kind of money are they bringing, and don't talk to me about "projected" ticket sales! as you've stated the Ottawa farm team didn't bring "them" in.
An AHL team is not an anchor, proper funding is, where the Fed and Prov on this? Nowhere to be found at present.
4/16/2014 8:55:59 AM
keiths31 says:
The Senators didn't leave here because of dwindling attendance. Ottawa ended their affiliation and they became the Thunder Cats, a team with no affiliation. Without an affiliation, the local team had to pay all the salaries. These added costs, plus the extremely low American dollar at the time, led to a money losing situation, in spite of well attended games. An AHL team will have it's players salaries covered by the NHL team, so that is an operating bonus.

I think Thunder Bay is ideally situated to have an AHL team for a very long time. We have no other competition. Abbotsford is basically a suburb of Vancouver. So why would they want to see the Calgary Flames farm team? That was doomed to fail from the start. The Marlies are located a few blocks from the Leafs, so that doesn't make any sense either. We have an international airport, so all teams can fly in and out. An AHL team can do well here.
4/16/2014 10:19:43 AM
If we as Canadians pay taxes to maintain this country then isn't this a welfare state with all the money handed out. Why are some people complaining about only the event center as a welfare hand out but not every thing else that is paid by our tax dollars. It may be time to leave if your not happy i'am sure there is a better place to live out there where you don't pay taxes and get nothing in return.
4/16/2014 7:01:08 AM
Eastender says:
Your logic is a bit oversimplified. If you dont want to pay taxes leave?
Lets not ever question tax spending because its all welfare? Just approve everything that is proposed by special interest groups? Think before you post!
4/16/2014 9:56:58 AM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
Why no reporting of the numbers that attended this meeting and the age of them? Is it because the number is too small to report? Would it have burst the bubble of a majority in support of the events centre especially in the northcore?
The BBQ and road hockey game would have been better supported in Innova Park. Far more room. Right in the centre of the city.
4/16/2014 6:19:34 AM
sweetazmaple says:
i know jay personally and he been involved in revamping thunder bay for a long time his group was behind the marina to be redone , he has a good team together and is doing things for thunder bay and this needs to be done as ppl are leaving so show your support and go and see what is going on have your say see if you like the idea and join his join his facebook page " Opportunity Thunder Bay" see how much this group is doing and what is going on and its all done on there own and no money they are making its because they care about the city!!!!!!
4/16/2014 12:24:30 PM
S Duncan says:
but the marina is bankrupt.

the phases are dead. its bankrupt!

how are they doing anything except destroying the financial well being of the Thunder Bay citizen?

If you want people to stay here, you can start by not taxing them into oblivion and saddling them with more debt on top of what the province did to us.

if youre going to tell a story, at least tell both sides.
4/16/2014 12:43:18 PM
bttnk says:
Not true. The Phases are not dead. The tenders came back and the bids were over-budget and the projects will be re-tendered.
4/16/2014 4:45:15 PM
S Duncan says:
if all the bids are over budget..

doesn't that mean its bankrupt?

If the budget cannot meet the specified tender for the phase as requested...

..its bankrupt.

Is there a better word you would prefer to use to describe that? You seem to be just like fastball, trying to change definitions to make yourself feel better? Am I wrong?
4/17/2014 11:18:37 AM
Leith Dunick says:
I think the point bttnk is trying to make is there is money set aside to pay for the work, but the city is only willing to pay so much and none of the tenders were under the threshold. Paying more than was budgeted for wouldn't be fiscally responsible.

It could mean changing the scope of what's being done, however, if no one is willing to do the work for the price the city is willing to pay.
4/17/2014 3:55:42 PM
S Duncan says:
I follow his point and understand what he and you are trying to say..

heres my look at it, using an example..

If I told all my friends that if they each gave me a glass of kool aid, I would pick them up Friday night in my new pickup truck and we would go to the movies together..

then I couldn't do what I promised because when I went to the dealer to get my new truck they said the $42.50 I had wasn't enough.

Should my friends feel cheated? Did I live up to my promises?

What if I borrowed another $67.10 I had saved for my rent, went back to the dealer and they still said NO, sorry Mr. Duncan, that's not enough.

Did I perform admirably? Did I do my job? Did I manage myself correctly? Did I manage my finances correctly?

Or is the S. Duncan new truck/movie night project bankrupt?

should my friends be happy? should they trust me again? Are they right to look at me sideways from now on?

the project is bankrupt.

Now, wheres my $42.50? I got to take some friends to a hockey game!
4/17/2014 11:00:05 PM
adubs says:
"About 50 people, a balanced mixture of young and old, showed up at Tuesday's recruitment drive"
4/16/2014 1:49:34 PM
adubs says:
"About 50 people, a balanced mixture of young and old, showed up at Tuesday's recruitment drive"
4/16/2014 1:58:20 PM
S Duncan says:
Curiously Leith or Jamie, every time the concerned taxpayers had a meeting you were tripping over yourself to tell us how many people showed up and what their ages were.

...but here we are, and Ive read the story twice now, but that information is not there?

lets not let biases get in the way here but omitting facts that the other groups were subject to.

If there was such a strong group, they should have all been there dying to volunteer for their cause.

so, how many ppl? what were the ages? and how did you determine it?
4/16/2014 5:17:50 AM
Leith Dunick says:
I wasn't at the meeting, so I can't tell you how many showed up. I'll ask Jamie.

However, from what I understand, this meeting wasn't about sheer numbers (hence the location), it was about putting together a solid core of volunteers to organize a May 10 event that will be all about numbers. They've set a pretty high bar in terms of how many they want to come out, and turnout will figure high in the story on that day.
4/16/2014 8:40:06 AM
S Duncan says:
Sounds fair.

Although, wasn't the Concerned Taxpayers just out to gauge public (lack of) support for the welfare dome?

any way, keep up the good work and thanks for being interactive and responding fairly.
4/16/2014 8:54:32 AM
Enquirer says:
I know I will be there to show my support!

I would like to send a big thanks out to the volunteers and organizers who are going to make this rally possible.

Hope to see you other like-minded people there!
4/16/2014 1:40:37 AM
S Duncan says:
That's great! How much money are you putting in?

Did you start a funding drive yet? Hows the "buy a brick" program going?

You must have many sold already huh? People are just dying to throw their support behind this, aren't they?

or are they all just free loaders wanting other people to pay for their welfare dome?
4/16/2014 9:42:49 AM
Enquirer says:
"How much money are you putting in?" As much money deemed necessary through my taxes! The same amount you will be paying soon too! :)

I can't say I have started the "buy a brick program" as of yet, as you seem to be the only one suggesting doing this and only had suggested it 6 days ago!

Tell me, much akin to Bill O'Reilly, do you believe the more times you say it and the louder you say it, it makes it true?

I suppose I could suggest that the Concerned Tax Payers of Thunder Bay to hire an outside program plan evaluator and research analyst to conduct a scientific survey of the real support/decent against the events centre. 100x100=$10,000, not quite enough, but you would be getting close! Now by next week you guys better have this rolling along...because...you know...I just suggested it now.

Do us all a favour, "S Duncan" (ha), keep the negativity away from what I am sure will be fruitful and positive rally.

Looking forward to seeing others there!
4/16/2014 10:38:10 AM
S Duncan says:
What are you waiting for? Supposedly theres all kinds of support for this, why the delay?

Build build build!!

Start coughing up money.

and the only negativity here is you. you aren't happy with what we have, you hate Thunder Bay for not buying you things, or even questioning it.

You know what they should have at the "rally"? They should have an obstacle course with some treadmills and stair climbers. People can go on a 20 minute hike after searching 20 minutes for a spot to park their car.

They can go up and down the stairclimber, then dodge people looking for smokes. the women can have a special section where they have to dodge the purse snatcher.. and then there can be a test to see how the police respond to the broken in car you return to after the welfare event.

that should get people up to speed on your welfare project?
4/16/2014 11:25:21 AM
Enquirer says:
Not to worry, "S Duncan", we will all be funding this before long and all be able to enjoy it! I know I will bump into you there before long after it is built!

If you are so confident that I hate Thunder Bay more so than you, perhaps we can get a TBNewswatch poll up asking people, based upon postings here, who hates Thunder Bay more? Say, doesn't insulting me make you a bottom-feeder too as you called me earlier for supposedly insulting you?

How's the progress of the program plan evaluator and research analyst coming along? Surely you guys must have already contracted these people out as I had suggested it merely hours ago and am diluting myself into believing what I say must be true!

As for me, I am quite done discussing the rally with you as you have nothing but misguided hate for it. I will be down there with my peers enjoying a good time around other great people.

I think I will engage in the time honoured advice of the Internet: "Don't feed the troll!"
4/16/2014 1:44:53 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
This should not be city owned at all. If private parties won't invest why should the city burden another building on behalf of the tax payer. Wise up and take a vote you'll find most are against the event center.
4/16/2014 1:03:55 AM
Jack Frost says:
Bahahaha... means NO !!
4/15/2014 11:50:58 PM
Tbayvoter says:
This is a Headline from the National Post: "After losing $7.3M hosting the Calgary Flames’ AHL team, Abbotsford pays $5.5M to get them to leave." IF this is what they went through I would hate to see what our city would be put through... $12.8 MILLION for Nothing except entertained for a few years.
4/16/2014 12:57:01 AM
chezhank says:
It is unfortunate that this city council was not visionary enough to put the decision to the public as to whether they want an event centre.
It was pure silliness on the part of the mayor and council not to put this to plebiscite.
What has the FWG done for the downtown core in Fort William.
Why should the public expect different results if they spend $30+ million of municipal funds to do the same thing in a different location.
True North must be coming to their senses and is only now doing their market research to show that the support for an AHL team may not be there.
I do credit the Waterfront Event Centre Committee for hosting there get together at Rooster's Last night.
Surprisingly no member of council or administration was there.

henry wojak
mayor in waiting
4/15/2014 11:40:12 PM
fastball says:
Were you here back in the 1950's and 60's? The FWG was great back then. You gotta remember that the world was a bit different - we didn't have the myriad of things competing for your entertainment dollar. You went to the Gardens for hockey, for curling, for concerts...it was the only game in town for this. THe place was hopping - and amazingly enough, without a giant parking lot next to it!! People walked from their parking spots on the street in the area. The Downtown since the 70's and 80's has slid downwards, with business closures and the debacle of Victoriaville. Being next to an autobody place and a lumberyard is a bit of a head-scratcher too.
There's no reason to indicate that with the city's push to the north side as an entertainment zone - and putting what people WANT in that area...that it should be far more relevant than in the south side - or sitting all by itself in an industrial park.
It's not just about building a facility - it's about launching an area.
4/16/2014 7:33:10 AM
Eastender says:
The FWG did not prevent the south side from sliding into a seedy, drug filled ghetto, and it will not be the deciding factor in the revitalization or degeneration of the north side. It will however polarize this city further into a north vs. south mentality which will stifle the progress you college kids so fervently desire.
If, and its a big if, this project ever goes ahead, a central location would serve the community best. Not necessarilly Innova, but possibly the area behind the Greyhound Bus station, as was once suggested, would make a lot of sense. There are also orher choices.
4/16/2014 9:35:20 AM
fastball says:
There will be no single "deciding factor" in any revitalization process...merely a slow, steady accumulation of positive factors that will eventually perpetuate a migration of business and people to an area.
There is no polarization here about North/South here - only people who think Innova is a better location. Frankly, the Marina is 2-3 kilometers down FW Road Street road from the Greyhound Station? That takes 5 minutes to drive, tops? What's the big deal about "central" these days? Nobody's walking anywhere. Everyone drives. What's five minutes?
South Side became the way it is because the people left. There was no reason to come down there anymore. V/Ville killed the Victoria area shopping district. Fewer people, so the stores packed up and left. The malls came into Intercity and put another nail in the coffin. Undesirables started hanging around empty stores - because no one told them to leave.
It's about kickstarting a neighbourhood for the future - not just today's convenience.
4/16/2014 11:11:24 AM
S Duncan says:
Where did you get your crystal ball and how much was it?

I think its broken, and should be returned.
4/16/2014 12:18:30 PM
fastball says:
Same place your got yours, apparently.
I'm making a prediction that the place will get an acceptable level of funding, and construction will start in 2 years...and when completed, it will be a benefit to the city and neighbourhood. Those who want to use it, will pay their money to see their events...and those who protested against it will move on and harangue like old fishwives about something else coming down the pipe.
Whereas your crystal ball assumes that the place will slide into financial ruin, leading to social decay. The business owners will all make out like bandits and all our children will end up being drug-using layabouts on social assistance.
Whose crystal ball vision do you think is more like to be the more realistic one?
4/16/2014 6:13:22 PM
S Duncan says:
You got yours in Victoriaville too?

Did you have trouble finding a parking spot?
4/17/2014 11:35:00 PM
S Duncan says:
That's the same excuses they used when they burdened us with Victoriaville.

Its the exact same BS mantra we heard with the casino too.

You may be new to this, but to those of us older than 16 this is all the same nonsense told to citizens by city councils all over the country.

Welfare domes, welfare entertainment, and business welfare are nothing new at all.

they always fail to live up to expectations. Every single time!
4/16/2014 12:36:10 PM
signman says:
Why does the city continue to deny the citizens of this city a vote on the proposed Event Centre?
Why is the hotel not being built at the Waterfront after all these years. What's really going on?
4/15/2014 11:32:41 PM
Baor says:
Ummm, the hotel is currently under construction, as are the two mostly sold out condo towers. Go have a look.
4/16/2014 7:03:37 AM
tbaycat says:
Leith …… Can you please confirm that the hotel is in fact under construction right now. I would rather not just take “Baor’s” word on it.
4/16/2014 3:42:42 PM
smartguy83 says:
Why don't you do what other normal people do and take a drive by and see the massive structures going up...You may actually get a glimpse of the future of the city.

The downtown area is thriving!
4/16/2014 4:11:13 PM
tbaycat says:
I’m sorry smartguy83. I was unaware that people were no longer allowed to ask a simple question anymore. I have glanced at the construction on the rare occasion that I have driven by (I mostly try to keep my eyes on the road though) and was under the assumption it was the condominiums going up. The last I read about the actual HOTEL construction was in a Feb 26, 2014 CBC news article that stated:

“Thunder Bay city manager Tim Commisso said the city is working closely with the Re Solve Group, and he understands the hotel is currently in the detailed DESIGN stage.

Re Solve Group is working with the architects and Delta Hotels to design the above-ground part of the hotel. MacDonald said she expects above-ground CONSTRUCTION to begin late-summer or early fall of this year.”

So you can understand my confusion when Baor stated that the “hotel is CURRENTLY under construction”. Unless of course a miracle has happened in the last month and a half that I was unaware of.
4/17/2014 2:08:54 AM
Baor says:
If you drive by the site you will see the foundation of the hotel in place and a large crew of workers there. It is between the train station and the condos. This was the sequence from day one. Condos 1st, hotel second. .... Now I must get back to the SDuncan comments site/show.
4/17/2014 1:38:51 PM
brandon says:

This white elephant is going to rely on an AHL team to keep it afloat!?
Take a look at this timeline of AHL teams. Yup. Fold fold fold fold fold fold. What makes us think that an AHL team is going to be any different here? Not only do these teams fold often, they also hoodwink the cities in which they locate. Case and point, Abbotsford was just forced to pay out $5.5m just to get rid of their AHL team that was leaching off them for years, for millions per year. We are not a big enough market to support the numbers required, especially at $25-30 per ticket. You won't be getting anything near a sellout for most games. How about week nights? You really think even 3000 will show up for a Monday evening game? Maybe for a year.... maybe two. Then the novelty will wain.

4/15/2014 11:22:31 PM
S Duncan says:
This team appears to be a bit of joke. Its bounced around looking for handouts its whole life.

and not one player from Thunder Bay or the area.

4/16/2014 5:30:13 AM
Jimmyjames says:
I do not want to discuss the events centre with this post, but just wondering what makes the Ice Caps franchise a joke?

-Started in the IHL as Minnesota Moose in 1994, were sold to Canadian businessmen who moved them to Manitoban in 1996.
-the moose lasted in winnipeg for 15 years being moved to the AHL For the past10
-NHL Returned to winnipeg so there was no need for and AHL team...moved them to St. John's.

I'm not comparing winnipeg or St. John's population to here, But the franchise doesn't seem like they are doing detrimental?
4/16/2014 8:41:09 AM
Jimmyjames says:
Wow I should proofread...sorry folks.
4/16/2014 8:48:50 AM
Jimmyjames says:
Wow I should proofread...sorry folks.
4/16/2014 8:51:14 AM
S Duncan says:
because its been passed around like a joint at a bob marley concert?

its bounced around looking for the best lucrative deal sucking taxpayer welfare its whole life.

it has shown no loyalty to its fans and attendees and just runs around seeking the biggest handout.

to me, if it cant pay for itself, its a joke.

fair answer?
4/16/2014 9:06:39 AM
Leith Dunick says:
Point of clarification: The franchise left Winnipeg because the NHL Jets returned. The Jets transferred the team to St. John's, I believe (but don't quote me) with the understanding they wanted to bring their farm team closer to home. Thunder Bay was mentioned at the time, but there was no facility in place to house an American Hockey League franchise.
4/16/2014 9:24:30 AM
S Duncan says:
Is there something that says they cant play in the same welfare dome as their nhl team?

or are they just being wise businessmen and trying not to compete with their own market? Do you think they realize people only have so much tolerance or willingness to attend the games in one league, or the other?

the reason I ask, is if this is true, then wouldn't this propeller team be competing in the welfare dome directly with the Wolves?

If that's the case, will that be the end of the Wolves? or ?

that question is open to anybody that can explain it..
4/16/2014 11:46:03 AM
S Duncan says:
this must be a tough question.. nobody can answer it?

Id think one of these welfare domies mighta spit out something by now?
4/16/2014 3:04:46 PM
Jimmyjames says:
Again, this is more a hockey comment and not a pro event centre....

Good questions, only real response I have is it is uncommon for an AHL team to be in the same city as an NHL team. There is only 2 with Toronto and Chicago. And the Chicago AHL team is the affiliate for the St. Louis blues. I can't comment on wise business decisions as I am not a wise business man.

Also, yes if an AHL team came here, and it was attended well at least at first, that could spell the end for the Thunderwolves if their attendance drops.
4/16/2014 5:35:19 PM
humnchuck says:
AHL teams usually field crowds in the 4000-7000 range, while an NHL-sized rink runs 15-20k. NHL teams don't typically own their own rinks, and it wouldn't be very cost effective to operate with 12-15000 empty seats...the operating and rental costs would bury you.

The Jets, and other teams such as the Leafs previously, have struggled with the distance that St. John's presents in relation to their home clubs. Calling up a player from The Rock means long, expensive flights and usually a full day's travel. More centralized locations are beneficial in this regard. The arena in St. John's is a great facility, but it's pretty distant from any parent market.

AHL farm clubs play a mix of young draft picks, career minor league players, rehabbing NHL players, etc. The players aren't sourced from the particular region where the team is based.
4/16/2014 7:06:36 PM
S Duncan says:
thanks for the replies. Jimmyjames.. I can imagine that the wolves attendance will drop significantly. Afterall, how many hockey fans will attend more than one game/week at best?

humnchuck.. You raise concern about operating costs burying you for the lesser team. I think it would be reasonable to conclude the same thing would happen here. The Wolves will suffer playing in there. The operating costs will be high, and turnout lower as two teams compete for each attendee's dollar. Introducing another competitor to already under utilized welfare dome will not bode well for either.

You bring up the commutes from rock to peg.. I can see that being an issue, but in the case of Abbotsford Heat/cal flames this proved to not be the be all/end all. Close proximity and cheap travel was merely brushed aside.

I understand about the players and their locations, but it just ties into the business side which hurts regional team loyalty.

whats next? more Europeans and less Canadians?
4/17/2014 9:57:39 AM
signman says:
The city of Abbotsford has just paid $5 million dollars to get out of their contract with their AHL team which cost the city millions each year. Another one bites the dust which is quite common for AHL teams.
4/15/2014 11:19:33 PM
dynamiter says:
What is an EVENT Center in Thunder Bay's context? We know that the Essar center in the Sault is really only a hockey rink/concert in an arena complex as there are only small attached rooms that cannot support a convention like event unless they use the rink area. The MTS center is the same thing - a hockey rink that can host different events and they do host conventions and big gala events - but all in the hockey rink area as there is not an attached facility. So it seems to me that an event center is really just a different name for a hockey rink. I wonder if the Feds will be as easily convinced to throw money at a hockey rink just because it is being called an event center.
4/15/2014 11:12:13 PM
S Duncan says:
You ever notice NOBODY can answer that question?

The pro welfare dome people just want something put into their greedy little paws. They have no concept of what they are asking for or the details surrounding it.

They just think ME ME ME ME!!!
4/16/2014 9:38:45 AM
hoboBOB says:
I wonder the same thing. An Event Center. They say we are going to have 50,000 square feet of convention space. Okay, that is a nice add on to this project, but, what are we going to use this space for? Are we really going to bring in new conventions? auto shows, boat shows? Hell even a comic con? Or are we simply going to try and move all our current events, home and garden show, trade shows, wedding show, firecon all to this new location?

If we are just moving old conventions to a new venue, we are really not gaining anything om this one. The other sites like the Victoria Inn, and the CLE will be direct competition with this new event center. So, why are we competing with other space in the city that is currently under utilized?

How many people show up to the conventions we already have? Is an additional 50,000 square feet really worth all this?

4/16/2014 10:42:58 AM
conker2012 says:
the 50,000 does not include the arena floor, you add this and the total convention/conference space is 67-75,000 sq feet. This would be the single largest space to hold large shows/trade shows etc.. Lowery's sports dome is only 55,000 sq feet and no large RVs or other large displays can go into this site, plus setup time is very long due to pressurization needs and limited door size.

Considering there was at least 1 possibly a second convention held last year that needed multiple venues due to no single space large enough to accommodate them, it is definitely time and worth the money for this place. Plus we have ~$22 million in the bank ready to go.

We also will not know what type of events will be coming to the event centre until phase 3 is completed and we have final sizes, and a business plan from #TBbaylive
4/16/2014 12:08:13 PM
Det John Kimble says:
I am all for an events centre and all for it downtown north core, but again worried about the 66% Fed and Prov ( 33% each) funding NOT YET allocated.
There are a lot of assumptions for this to work, but what if the Feds and Prov say no....
what then?

we cannot start digging till we got funding in line!! otherwise it will be a cash black hole!
4/15/2014 10:57:23 PM
S Duncan says:
its already a black hole.

notice how theres no info on how much has already been poured into it?

Its a huge money loser! Its already known that it will be obsolete in 20 years (according to phase 2 feasibility report) and its known the LOSE $1.3 Million each and every year.

and those are optimistic projections.

its over before it started.
4/16/2014 5:23:31 AM
fastball says:
For the love of Mike, how many times does one have to say that if the funding from other levels isn't forthcoming (or sufficient) this project gets put on the back burner. The City has said this from the get-go. In English, too.
The city is NOT putting up 100M and going this alone - despite what some fear-monger Chicken-Little types would say.
4/16/2014 7:22:34 AM
S Duncan says:
says who? Hobbs?

as if we could believe a word that comes out of his mouth? He shot himself in the foot with his own big talk, inaction, and flip flopping on such a key issue (and many more)

Perhaps you can explain to us why in the phase 2 feasibility report there is option b, which proposes the city paying not 1/3rd, but actually over half!

does that sound like a plan that's not going to happen if the funding isn't there?

why are you so gullible?
4/16/2014 9:02:22 AM
Eastender says:
The funding from both levels of gov't may or may not cover 2/3rds of tne actual construction cost. But you Rah Rah people never face the reality of all the incidental cost associated with this project, which I have mentioned in posts here several times, that will be over and above what the initial construction costs are. Those costs will easily pass the 50 million dollar mark. The risk of having to subsidize a hockey team that will not get adequate fan support is also a definite possibility. The risks and costs associated with this proposal far outweigh any possible benefits this project might bring.
The FWG in 63 years did not prevent the steady decline into a seedy ghetto of the south core.
The Welfare dome will not revitalize the north core either, much to the disappointment of the Rah Rah , give it the old college try, crowd.
Enthusiasm may win football games, but in the cold world of business it leads only to financial disaster.
4/16/2014 9:16:47 AM
Here is a question that I would like answered from anyone out there... Since Abbotsford just lost their AHL team.... as of the end of this season. Is that NOT a strong possiblility that would or could happen here?.... Just food for thought... I am still undecided either way until FINAL numbers are in, at which time I will decide what I am willing to pay or not to pay for such a centre.
4/15/2014 10:14:14 PM
musicferret says:
They didn't just lose their team: they had been paying the team money to keep operating for years, and had to pay them an additional $5,500,000.00 to leave.

AHL teams have been folding and moving like crazy over the last 5 years. Its not a winning proposition and I don't understand why we think that we, with our tiny population within an hour drive, can make it work.
4/15/2014 11:15:03 PM
smartguy83 says:
I don't want to give false details, but from what I can see Abbotsford's situation was unique.

The deal to lock them in as tenants was a bad deal as the facility was built and they needed a tenant.

Thunder Bay has stated they will not be willing to subsidize losses.

Also worth noting that Calgary (Abbotsford's parent club) is a rival of Vancouver. Not an ideal scenario.
4/16/2014 4:08:29 PM
olive garden says:
just hope it does not snow !!!!!!
4/15/2014 10:03:23 PM
S Duncan says:
why, are hockey fans scared to walk a little bit in the snow?

if so, theres a big problem coming straight for them!
4/16/2014 9:48:01 AM
S Duncan says:
"A city's got to invest in itself," he said.

said the guy who didn't invest at all. He just cut and run. You didn't pay for it for 20 years, you just up and left.

A city needs to have people invest themselves in it, not beg for handouts.
4/15/2014 9:42:51 PM
fastball says:
Where do you get this "begging" thing from?
4/16/2014 9:27:53 AM
S Duncan says:
Thunder Bay is begging (yet again) the province to pay a huge chunk of this welfare dome.

Thunder Bay is begging the Federal government to pay a huge chunk of this welfare dome.

People (those in support of this welfare dome) are begging that the taxpayers of this city kick in a huge chunk for this welfare dome.

and you don't see the begging? When was your last optical exam? Auditory exam?

this is begging in the worst degree!
4/16/2014 11:40:18 AM
fastball says:
While I hate myself for feeding a troll - I don't see any "begging" going on here.
I see the city APPLYING for grants that are given out by the government.
When you looked for a job (if ever), did you "beg" for one..or did you apply for one?
Begged for a drivers' licence? No, you applied.
Applied to get into college. Applied for student loans. Did you actually get down on your knees and BEG (or worse) for a mortgage? Or did you apply for all that money GIVEN to you by a bank?
4/16/2014 1:09:24 PM
S Duncan says:
Why are you so desperate to justify your desire for a welfare dome that you're going to publicly try to change the definition of words to make yourself feel a little better?

HEY! has anybody here been GIVEN money by a bank??? LOL! If so, can you tell me which one so I can get some too?
4/16/2014 2:15:24 PM
Rock49 says:
Excellent idea. Although there's already a hugh majority for the events centre.
4/15/2014 9:38:40 PM
musicferret says:
Keisman saw how the MTS centre revitalized their downtown.

Funny, since the MTS centre and our events centre will cost almost the same. $133m vs. $100m, only 10 years apart.

We are getting hosed.

Lets build this thing, but the price tag is simply out to lunch and not a single member of council is questioning why it is nearly double that of any other project like it in Canada.
4/15/2014 9:18:02 PM
smartguy83 says:
Proof that it is double?
4/16/2014 4:05:46 PM
sinkoreswim says:
Awesome job guys, I fully support this! It's time to relegate the cranky naysayers who would halt all progress in this city back to past where they belong
4/15/2014 9:07:14 PM
trips says:
hopefully this group gets 2000 people attending and all showing up with their vehicles just to show this council how difficult it will be to find parking...im betting the farm that they wont get 200 though
4/15/2014 8:56:06 PM
CLETE says:
Hope to see all of us there but please no pot and pans this is for support of this effort. I know most people in Thunder Bay are for this event center. To those who do not support this you can stay away. Can't wait to see the shovel turning when the project gets started.
4/15/2014 8:55:59 PM
p.o.ed taxpayer says:
Hope you tell all of your supporters the down side like Abbotsford and the Sault and others. Both communities paid a big price for ignoring the negative experience of others. The Sault apparently got hooked for loan guarantees to the company contracted to manage the facility (3-4 million). Interesting that this site has a headline article when they get a story that they think supports the idea (Sault Mayor) and yet only a brief tweet about the Abbotsford situation...yet supporters keeps saying they want ALL the facts before making a decision...guess that means only the positive stories wanted, not reality...
4/16/2014 7:08:22 AM
bttnk says:
The Abbotsford situation is remarkably unique in that they made the unusual business decision to stick the Calgary Flames minor league affiliate essentially in Vancouver.
4/16/2014 8:29:58 AM
S Duncan says:
Do you have all the contractual details from AHL teams?

or are you just making stuff up again?
4/16/2014 9:22:51 AM
Recommended 1 times.  1  Agree
Flag as Inappropriate
jb says:
Contractual Details? What are you talking about? The Heat are the Calgary Flames affiliate and it's no secret that they didn't have a huge fanbase in Abbotsford because of it. Ever since the team was announced people were questioning the decision to put a rival affiliate right in the heart of Canucks territory.
4/16/2014 10:11:45 AM
S Duncan says:
Thunder Bay is in ONTARIO. We have ONTARIO teams. People are Leafs fans, and some are Sens fans (not many).

but none are Jets fans, except the bandwagon jumpers we see posting here.

Why is an Alberta team in BC any different than a Manitoba team in Ontario?

What makes one situation unique over the other one?

and Fonzie?? really now? don't you have something better to say than that? That goes for you too Keith.
4/16/2014 11:11:08 AM
smartguy83 says:
Oh my you must not be a sports fan.

Calgary and Vancouver are bitter rivals.

The Jets are not even in the same Conference as the Leafs/Senators. Give it up already your points are totally irrelevant.
4/16/2014 4:04:03 PM
DougMyers says:
From the guy who states his opinion and claims it as fact. He then changes the discussion when proven incorrect instead of debating facts.

Pot meet kettle
4/16/2014 10:29:38 AM
S Duncan says:
You just did the exact thing you accused me of. You're stating your opinion and claiming it as fact.

and using it to hide from debate.

tsk tsk. whats next are you going to complain about people complaining for your encore?
4/16/2014 11:18:20 AM
S Duncan says:
do you mean like that post a couple below from Rock49 that claims there is a majority of people in favour?

or are you just fixated on me again?
4/16/2014 11:34:13 AM
TBDR says:
Actually it was reported on TSN like a year ago that it was a huge issue.
4/16/2014 10:30:47 AM
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