Second Toronto arena plan skates on

Artist's concept of new Markham arena complex.

Artist's concept of new Markham arena complex.

TOM GODFREY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:30 AM ET

TORONTO - Plans for a new state-of-the art NHL-ready arena and entertainment centre is skating along on fast ice at Markham.

A site application plan for the proposed Markham Sports, Entertainment & Cultural Centre is being prepared and will be filed with city officials this summer, said businessman Graeme Roustan, chairman and CEO of GTA Sports and Entertainment.

Roustan is being backed by developer Rudy Bratty of the Regminton Group.

“We would like to begin work by 2014,” Roustan said at a meeting on Wednesday with community members at the Markham Civic Centre. “It is a very exciting project and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Roustan helped bring the Sharks to San Jose, and tried to acquire both the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning in recent years.

About 100 residents gathered at the centre to obtain more information on the $325 million complex and maybe a possible NHL team. The venue has been approved by Markham council, which means the city will have to borrow $162.5 million to cover its share.

The proposed 20,000-seat centre is to be located in Markham Centre on about six acres of land west of the Unionville GO Station and north of Highway 407.

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpelli said the centre will be a boost to his city.

“I am excited about this project,” he said. “It will bring us many opportunities as a city.”

The centre is intended to be a world-class venue for concerts, cultural celebrations, sporting events, conventions and community uses.

A report prepared by Markham staff claims that building the arena will provide 886 permanent jobs, $61.1 million in annual GDP, and $13.2 million in taxes, assuming 130 annual events.


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