City of Markham upholds funding model in narrow council vote Staff

1/30/2013 3:07:06 AM

Councilors for the city of Markham voted to approve the existing financing model for an NHL-sized arena on Tuesday night.

A motion had been put forward to rescind the approval for the project which was to be funded by a mixture of private and public funds but that motion was struck down by council on Tuesday by a narrow 7-6 margin.

Council originally supported the concept of funding the project by an overwhelming margin last year, but public support had waned with the fear of losses if there is no NHL team is a tenant.

Tuesday's meeting - which extended into the early hours of Wednesday morning - offered both concerned citizens, interested parties and council members themselves an opportunity to express their opinions on the proposed funding model.

The 20,000-seat arena complex is expected to cost $325 million, all of which would be borrowed by the city under the current plan with GTA Sports and Entertainment, the private partners behind the project, paying back half that amount. The city plans to pay back the rest of the loan through levies on developers and surcharges on parking and event tickets, resulting in no increase in taxes on residents.