New Arena in Markham, steps towards an NHL team?

With the slim chances of landing an NHL team, the city of Markham has continued to fight for a $325 million arena, to hopefully either become a home of a expansion NHL team or potentially a relocation of a team in one of the southern United States. Although they are saying that no money that is going towards the arena will come from tax payers money, there is still around $50 million that still needs to be accounted for.

The NHL is not very supportive of the arena either. Commissioner Gary Bettman stated that “We have never been encouraging of this project, and we have repeatedly said that if this building is built, it should be built with the expectation that they will not get a team.” With that being said, for an NHL team to come to Markham, they need to beat out a number of other big market cities that are looking to home an NHL team. These cities include Quebec City and Seattle.

Another interesting fact is the price of the arena in Markham compared to other arenas recently. Edmonton’s next arena has a $480-million target. The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn came in around US$1-billion. Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Centre, built three years ago, cost US$350-million; New Jersey’s Prudential Centre, built three years before that, was US$415-million. And one of the most interesting was the price of the Air Canada Centre, built 14 years ago cost $342-million. City hall members in Markham do believe that the arena will be sustainable without an NHL team, and without the use of tax payer dollars, should encourage Markham residents to be more accepting of the building.

It will be interesting to see what happens as the building process begins. although the chances are slim, an NHL team in Markham would be very beneficial to the economy, although it would cost a lot of money to move within the territory of the Toronto Maple Leafs

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