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Brantford to proceed with phase three for new sports and entertainment facility

Arts and EntertainmentBrantford to proceed with phase three for new sports and entertainment facility

Brantford City Council unanimously endorsed the development of a new Sports and Entertainment Centre as a priority project for the City during a special Council meeting earlier this year and has started the process of entering into phase three of the project.

Paving the way for phase three in the advancement of this important civic project, Council directed City staff to begin completion of preparatory site due diligence to understand and document potential issues associated with developing the facility on the Civic Centre site , as well as, initiating a request for Business Partnerships process to solicit private sector interest in the development.

A decision regarding whether or not to formally proceed with the project is expected in late 2024, and if approved, the new facility could break ground as early as 2025 and open in 2027.

“This project is not just about a sports and entertainment centre,” said Kevin Davis, Mayor for the City of Brantford. “It’s about building a vibrant and thriving community, anchored by the city’s downtown.  We look forward to the next phase of this exciting journey and continuing to work collaboratively with our residents and business community to make Brantford a primary destination for sports and entertainment.” 

Michael Andlauer, owner of the Brantford Bulldogs, expressed his excitement about how Brantford has embraced the Bulldogs and the potential new sports and entertainment facility.

“Brantford has exceeded my expectations. The fans are fantastic and have shown us tremendous support from day one. The warm welcome, and obvious enthusiasm for the Bulldogs has meant a lot to the team and to me personally,” Andlauer said. “I appreciate and support all of the City’s efforts, including their commitment to evaluate the feasibility of a new Sports and Entertainment Centre, and I can unequivocally state that if Council commits to building this facility, I will commit the Brantford Bulldogs to playing here in Brantford for the long term.”

The City acknowledges the crucial contribution that the private sector can make in realizing the full potential of this project so the municipality is extending an invitation to interested parties to contribute their expertise, creativity, and commitment to further revitalizing the City’s downtown.

An “Expression of Interest (EOI) for Sports Entertainment Centre Business Partnerships” process has been launched on the City of Brantford Bids and Tenders online portal to seek private sector involvement in the development, financing, operations and management of a new Sports and Entertainment Centre in Brantford.

To facilitate raising capital to support the development of the SEC, the opportunity also identifies a series of City-owned properties within close proximity of the planned SEC location, that the City is prepared to market as part of a potential partnership offering or arrangement to third party developers or investors. Any property transaction proposed must be in the long‐term interests of the City in order to be considered, and will require the final approval of City Council. 

Through the implementation of a land value capture approach, the City stands to benefit financially from tax revenues generated by the development of surrounding properties. By leveraging the increased land values resulting from the SEC project, the City can not only enhance its tax revenue streams but also ensure sustainable funding to offset costs to build and operate the new SEC.

The EOI also identifies the type of entities with whom the City could partner with to acquire the Naming Rights to this Facility, and to acquire selected municipally-owned properties located in the downtown, with the goal to secure financial contributions to assist in paying for all or a significant portion of the capital costs of the SEC.

Responses to the City’s solicitation of business partnerships are expected in early May.  Following a detailed review of the responses, City staff will seek direction from Council on next steps, which may include entering into direct negotiations to secure a beneficial business partnership to move this important initiative forward.

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