Sports and events centre would revitalize downtown core

If Nanaimo is able to secure a WHL team, I am in full support of the proposed sports and entertainment centre.

To the Editor,

Re: Nanaimo’s demographics can’t support an events centre, Letters, Dec. 29.

If Nanaimo is able to secure a WHL team, I am in full support of the proposed sports and entertainment centre for it will be the anchor that downtown needs to help re-build itself.

Our downtown used to be bustling with people, it had energy, was vibrant and fun, a place where all of Nanaimo and its neighbouring towns would come to. Now the downtown is suffering, it has no energy; the streets at night are too lonely and dark. Building the events centre at 1 Port Dr. would help revive a part of Nanaimo that desperately needs it. This location would give the Terminal Nicol Re-Imagined project a big helping hand in creating the vision of mixed residential/retail space that is needed to revitalize this core.

When you inject 5,700 people for a hockey game, a concert, a Cirque show or the likes in the downtown core, you need to be able to have businesses surrounding it to support these events. Building the sports and entertainment centre gives locals opportunities to open businesses like restaurants, retail and specialty stores. It gives local people an opportunity to create their dreams with a vibrant community that gives them an opportunity to succeed in. Downtown Nanaimo should be a place where visitors spend their dollars in supporting the local economy which enhances the lives of its citizens. It should be a place a visitor comes to and wants to return to. This sports and entertainment centre and its surrounding downtown should be where families make special memories in, like it did for generations before.

Tereza BajanNanaimo


To the Editor,

I have been following the letters in the paper regarding the multiplex and it would appear there is not a lot of popular support for it. Considering the decision-making history of our local governing body over the years, I am not in the least surprised.

If a multiplex needs to be built then it should be by private investors. It may be a good idea but if it isn’t, we all know who gets stuck with the cost of another bad decision. This also proves those of our local government who are voting for this project still haven’t dug out their Websters and looked up the definition of ‘infrastructure.’

In the U.S. there is an organization called the Taxpayers for Common Sense who give out an annual award known as the Golden Fleece for government agencies who have shown exceptional achievment in wasting taxpayers’ money. I have an imaginary mantel over my imaginary fireplace where I am collecting imaginary Golden Fleece Awards for Nanaimo’s governing elite; there is an award for the conference centre and one for the cruise ship dock as well as a runner-up award for the Port Theatre, but I have room for one more imaginary trophy.

Rod HancockNanaimo


To the Editor,

Re: City shouldn’t spend on multiplex until citizens have had their say, Letters, Jan. 5.

With the sudden rise of a multimillion-dollar event centre (aka arena) popping to the top of council’s priorities like a magic mushroom, it might be helpful for our taxpayers to have an historical context as to how this all came about.

Five gentlemen, as the majority on the council, control the agenda. Subsequently they have set out to isolate the other members of council and, in some instances, attempted to berate and discredit them. At the same time, city senior staff positions were restructured to ensure little opposition to councillors’ priorities.

The seed for the event proposal was planted when the local Howard Johnson management floated the idea of such a complex on their property. The suggestion was that it might be supported largely by private investment, but it is doubtful that that was a serious proposition. The more likely scenerio is that they were fishing for a large public injection of funds or just to get the concept on the table. Not surprisingly, the council majority felt it should become a top priority for the city and subsequently hired a consulting firm to study the proposal. Again, not surprisingly, the consultants’ report, despite some very dubious assumptions, was quite positive.

Council in its wisdom presses on with its desire for an arena despite local neighbourhood opposition and widespread opposition from local taxpayers.

Nanaimo has good recreational and cultural facilities. There are more pressing priorities in this community than building another white elephant.

Deryck CowlingNanaimo

Nanaimo News Bulletin

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