The group that runs Evraz Place wants to assess all their properties to determine what the future holds for the site and that includes a discussion around the fate of the Brandt Centre.
The Brandt Centre is over 40-years old and is one of the older buildings on the site, which has recently welcomed the International Trade Centre and Mosaic Stadium over the past few years.
Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL), the group which operates Evraz Place, currently has a public survey out — called Evraz 2.0 real conversation — to get a feel of what changes the public wants to see.
While the results of the survey still need to be compiled, President and CEO Tim Reid said one of the key themes they’ve heard from people is the need for a plan for the aging building.
“When we look at priorities, the Brandt Centre and what happens next needs to be at the top of that,” Reid said.
He said the Regina Pats, City of Regina and REAL have made a significant investment in the building, especially during the Memorial Cup, but a decision needs to be made on what to do with the arena.
“I think there’s a conversation about do we need to do nothing, which is a valid answer, do we modernize the existing space that we have or do we consider a major alteration or perhaps a new project,” Reid said.
Reid said the possibility of a new arena is out there.
“When you talk about replacing an arena, it’s easier than actually modernizing an arena because if you modernize an arena, you still have to find a place for your major tenants to play so the Pats would need a home,” Reid said.
He mentioned Saskatoon is currently deciding how they want to approach the possibility of a new arena to replace SaskTel Centre.
Reid said if they were to take that approach, a plan would need to be in place for what to do with the current Brandt Centre.
“I think this is a discussion around community-wise do we need a new rink, where should it go? How does it affect the existing properties and really, it’s just about building a plan for the future,” Reid said.
It’s not just the Brandt Centre REAL wants to look at, with every building on their property up for an assessment about future plans regarding them.
REAL wants to partner with the City of Regina in doing the assessment. Instead of REAL asking for $400,000 as it has in previous years, it will ask for $200,000 but wants the city to consider a partnership with them to do an asset review.
“What we’re proposing is doing a campus-wide review of the assets on campus, understanding the existing condition, whatever the deferred maintenance might be or the immediately required maintenance and building a long-term plan so we understand what we as a community have to invest in these facilities that the public expect.”
Reid said REAL has shown improvements and growth and are operating with a budget of over $40 million. Since Evraz Place is a non-profit, any money made from concessions and other streams goes back into the buildings and events.
While Mosaic Stadium is still very new, Reid said there has to be a plan in place for the five-10 year mark of the stadium when maintenance issues might start to occur.
“We have a strong maintenance plan that’s in place in collaboration with the city, but ultimately we need to be able to put monetary values for that,” Reid said.
Another thing Reid would like to see is a site plan put in place for Evraz Place.
“I think for this to be a truly exceptional experience, I think that we have to develop this site with a holistic plan.”
REAL will present their budget for final approval at the council meeting in November.