Editor’s Note: This story originally said Iveson talked to reporters, however all of his comments were actually spoken during the city council meeting.
Mayor Don Iveson wants to get the conversation going on what the next step is for Edmonton’s Northlands Coliseum.
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Earlier this year, council voted for the city to take over the Coliseum on Jan. 1, 2018 and permanently close the arena.
During Tuesday’s city council meeting, Iveson requested a report from administration on the impacts of demolishing the building.
“One, whether any practical alternatives have come forward for re-purposing of the Coliseum,” Iveson said. “Two, what would the costs to secure the site be, if the building were demolished. And three, what would be the estimated demolition cost.”
READ MORE: Could future use of Northlands site be decided through design competition?
He requested the report be brought back for the Dec. 5 city council meeting.
With the election over, the new city council can really look into the question of practical reuse.
“Now that the cost implications of leaving it boarded up are estimated and they may be refined at 1.5-million a year,” Iveson said.
“I think we have to have a serious conversation about whether it’s financially in anyone’s best interest to board up a building … whose time may be up.”
READ MORE: News of Northlands Coliseum’s closure solicits storm of social media response
Iveson also stressed the importance of including the future of the Coliseum in the next budget cycle.
“It only occurred to me just now, but if we don’t start the conversation it’ll take us right out past the budget cycle,” Iveson said. “Then we can grab some one-time money to get this dealt with and rip the cover off the band-aid.”
The upcoming four-year budget cycle runs from 2019 to 2022. If the building is not included in this budget cycle, council would have to wait for the next one, which starts in 2023.
The city estimated in September the cost to demolish the Coliseum would be $8-million dollars.
The Coliseum opened in 1974 for the Edmonton Oilers when the team was in the World Hockey Association.
The Oilers won five Stanley Cups in the arena during the 1980s and 1990, before moving to the new Rogers Place in 2016.
The Jan. 1 transition date of the Coliseum coincides with the date the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation will take over operation of the EXPO Centre.
READ MORE: City councillors vote to approve plan to ‘transition’ Expo Centre to the City of Edmonton
— With files from Slav Kornik, Global News