It appears that after months of negotiations and discussions behind closed doors, Belleville Council is FINALLY going to talk about the Yardmen Arena and a major expansion.
Sources to Quinte News say that on Thursday morning, a special meeting of Belleville City Council will be held.
It will look at a major expansion, which could flirt in the $20 million range. The firm Architecture49 will make a deputation in open session, showcasing drawings for work on the former home of the Belleville Bulls.
Back in mid-April 2016, council approved $450,000 for designs and drawing work by Architecture49. The original design concept was for the removal of the existing floor surface, safe disposal of the brine under the concrete, installation of glycol sub-floor, replacement of the chiller and installation of a new arena floor and new boards.
The estimated cost for just that work would be around $7 million. It would also shrink the size of the ice surface from Olympic (200 x 100 feet) to NHL (200 x 85).
Quinte News has learned that council will look at much more than just a $7 million reno. The presentation is expected to showcase a $19 million option. It is believed drawings will showcase additional seating, suites, dressing room upgrades and much more.
Nothing has been approved by council.
The next question is, why such major renovations, if we currently do not have a tenant for the building?
The burning rumour has surrounded the Binghamton Senators. Despite the fact ownership recently signed a three year lease extension in Broome County, sources tell Quinte News they are looking at relocation and Belleville is considered an option.
If council approves major renovations to the arena, that would pave the way for a high level team to have an updated facility. Mayor Taso Christopher along with members of council have been quoted saying, if Belleville was to get another team, the city would want to ensure it would not relocate, without a chance to save them.
More details are expected Wednesday and on Thursday.