I am going to go out on a limb here stare into my crystal ball and make a couple of predictions about the new arena/convention centre project that is all the rage in the news right now. Although official decisions are supposedly months off and public consultation has yet to happen, here is what I see happening:
- the site that will be chosen for the construction of the complex will be the Water Street site. This is an easy prediction. This decision has already been made. Is it the best site for the city and its residents? No. Does that matter? No.
- the feasibility study will show that this project will be the greatest thing to happen to Thunder Bay since the invention of sliced bread. The study will predict the City will make millions from a convention centre and maybe host a professional hockey franchise in the new arena in the near future. This is also an easy prediction as the City Administration never commissions a study without knowing what they want it to say.
- once the construction of arena/convention centre project is announced/finalized at the Water Street location, the waterfront private developer will announce the construction of a new hotel and condo. This is also an easy prediction. The accelerated timetable of the new arena study process obviously has more to do with what is good for the waterfront/private developer than what is good for the people of the city. Why else rush this?
- there will be enough money found to do this project even though Thunder Bay has a huge debt, the waterfront project is not finished yet and Ontario and Canada have huge deficits.