Leafs hope arena will get approval

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

General manager John Ferguson calls it the Maple Leafs' "training camp home of the future."

And while its funding already has been criticized in certain circles, the proposed structure, which is also slated to have the Marlies, Hockey Hall of Fame and Hockey Canada as tenants, will be an impressive looking building if constructed.

Depictions of the complex were shown to city councillors last week at a glitzy presentation in the Hockey Hall of Fame, where Ferguson, Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson and HHOF chairman Bill Hay spoke in support of the endeavour. City council is scheduled to vote on the project tomorrow.

The proposed four-pad complex, estimated to be worth about $29 million, is to be located on a 10-acre plot on the west side of Kipling Ave., just north of Lakeshore Collegiate

"We've done some site visits, checking the best practice facilities in the industry, and we're certain our space will be state of the art," Ferguson said yesterday.

The project will be built and operated by the Lakeshore Lions club.

The city would own the structure and the land it is on, then lease it to the Lions Club.

With the Leafs being the the anchor tenants, the HHOF also would have space for its archives. And the Olympic-sized ice sheet appeals to Hockey Canada, which plans to use it as a practice rink for its national mens, womens and junior teams as part of a Centre of Excellence.

If it receives approval from council, the completion date is set for September of 2008 -- just in time for Leafs training camp.

ON THE MARC

Rugged defenceman Marc Moro, who captained the Marlies last season, is scheduled to practise today for the first time since undergoing off-season hip surgery.

He will not take part in any physical contact, however.


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