Moncton Musing New Venue

Moncton, New Brunswick, could be in for a new venue to replace the city’s aging Coliseum if a local committee has its way.

The Downtown Centre Task Force has issued a report recommending the city build a new, $80 million, 9,000-seat venue in place of the nearly 40-year-old Coliseum.

“We are losing entertainment products,” task force co-chair Jim Lockyer told CBC News. “Just in the last few months we’ve lost Cirque du Soleil, we’ve lost Stars on Ice, we’ve lost Martina McBride, we’ve lost Brad Paisley all because of the way the building is structured.”

The city-owned facility’s low roof apparently doesn’t lend itself well to the massive productions of many of today’s tours.

The report, which comes a year after a Toronto consultant advised the city to build a new sports and entertainment center, also included an alternative plan that would include renovating the Coliseum.

However, the task force found that investing nearly $40 million in renovations to the facility would not provide sufficient long-term benefits to the city, according to the local Times & Transcript.

Several conditions must be met for the project to move forward, the report said, including the development of an acceptable business plan, infrastructure funding from both the provincial and Canadian governments and an agreement with a major tenant.

Still, Lockyer was adamant that the venue be built downtown to continue the development of the region, which was stagnant for many years.

“I can tell you very clearly … that this community does not want to go back to [what it was like here] in the 1960s and 1970s. It wants to move forward with vision,” he told the paper.