Maine Arena Proposal

A developer has pitched a plan to build an 8,000-capacity arena as part of a $300 million retail and commercial development near Portland, Maine, and officials are said to be interested.

Developer Jason Snyder’s vision includes converting the 8,726-capacity Cumberland County Civic Center into a convention center and asking the American Hockey League’s Portland Pirates to be flagship tenants for the new venue, according to the Portland Press Herald.

“The civic center has served a very viable and important purpose, but the reality is that the state of Maine has been losing a lot of business because they don’t have a facility that would draw larger acts,” Snyder told the paper. “With the right venue, they will come.”

Greg Mitchell, Portland economic development director, said Snyder’s plan has potential.

“It’s an interesting idea [but] we need to know more specifics,” Mitchell told the Herald. “I need to know that we have a real project behind his outline. It’s important to the city to retain the economic activities associated with the civic center in Portland.”

Snyder, city and county officials are to discuss financing options in early July. The estimated cost of the project is reportedly between $63.1 million and $68.7 million.