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Report identifies downtown as preferred location for Sudbury arena

Required rezoning of East End site would delay project start by a year
A conceptual design of a downtown event centre from the Downtown Event Centre: We All Win lobby. (Supplied)

Sudbury's downtown core offers the most immediate benefits to the community at the lowest risk, so says the highly anticipated report on by PriceWaterhouseCoopers on the Nickel City's event centre project.

The 54-page report was made public on June 19 and is available to read online here.

"The results of the site evaluation process revealed two of the four shortlisted sites scored significantly higher than the other two, but overall their scores were very close to each other," the report states. 

"The downtown site had a higher overall score, but the Kingsway site scored highest on two of the three most important factors to council (cost and parking). This is a positive result, since it indicates there are two viable sites that can support this important project."

While both sites scored close together, the report authors stated downtown has the edge.

"The downtown site offers the opportunity to complement businesses and infrastructure that already exists," the report states.

"Experience in other communities shows ... a downtown event centre provides immediate benefits to the community. The proposed site is appropriately zoned, allowing construction to commence in a timely manner once real estate transactions are concluded.

"Ultimately, building on the downtown site offers more immediate benefits to the community and represents the least risk to the city. The necessary infrastructure and supporting businesses are in place."

The report states further that downtown ranked highest in all categories except parking and cost, though cost is expected to be only "marginally higher."

"It is best aligned with the stated long-term vision for the city and contributes most to city building," the report states.

The city is vetting a number of proposals for a new arena and event centre, including in the downtown and the East End, and council is expected to deliberate further about the decision later in June.