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Markham arena plan could be dead: report

An artist's rendering of the proposed GTA Centre in Markham. HANDOUT

Jack Heath, deputy mayor of Markham and originally a supporter of the proposed GTA Centre arena, has reportedly put forward a motion to kill the financial framework for the 20,000-seat rink.

With speculation that the NHL will expand to Seattle and Quebec City, Heath is under the impression that the need for a franchise in the Greater Toronto Area is far from a top priority for the league.

“When you add it all up, a second franchise for the GTA is not a priority,” Heath told the Hockey News. “I have no interest in duplicating Copps Coliseum.”

Heath will present it to Markham council Sept. 17, with a vote coming a week later.

The financial framework would see Markham borrow $325 million. The private partners behind the project would repay half of the loan ($162.5 million) and the city would pay off the other half through levies on developers.

Former Bauer chairman Graeme Roustan is leading the charge of a group of private investors.

It’s believed that Roustan could come to council with a new framework where he would pay his half of the cost up front, saving the city from having to borrow $162.5 million for the project.

We asked if you supported another NHL-sized arena in the GTA. Here’s what CityNews readers had to say:

[View the story “Do you support another NHL-sized arena in the GTA?” on Storify]