Fabio Belli was one of the most respected city councillors that Greater Sudbury has seen in generations. Now only 7 years later the newbies on the block are obstructing the work he had tried so dearly to get finished before his untimely death.
Belli, was pushing for a new arena way back in 2013 and this week marks the 7 year anniversary of Fabio Belli bringing the fight for a new arena to the council chambers. Fabio, didn’t specify where the new arena should go, he just said Sudbury needed a new arena and outlined the reasons why we needed it.
The strange part about this is that the Downtown Sudbury lobbyist groups were quite. They didn’t put on a huge display of support. The Downtown Sudbury groups didn’t even blink an eye when Belli proposed the new arena.
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In Fabio’s message he pointed out how the Sudbury Arena is the oldest arena in the Ontario Hockey League. Furthermore “It’s clear there is a glaring need to replace the downtown Sudbury Community Arena with a larger, more modern and more flexible facility as many other cities in Ontario have done,” Councillor Belli said.
So what changed and why are some of the councillors of today trying to renovate the old barn instead replacing it. The answer is simple and disappointing. The councillors who are trying to stop the construction of a new arena don’t respect the work or the wishes of the late Fabio Belli.
The councillors who are also trying to stop the building of a new arena appear to not remember all the hard work that has been put in over the years to get to this point. Unfortunately a couple bad apples are starting to spoil the bunch.
The fight that Belli fought to bring a new, not renovated, arena to Greater Sudbury was a courageous one and it should not be forgotten when the downtown architecture firm tries to change the channel on the actual progress the city has done.
If the downtown groups were really that competent they would have been ready in 2015. Given that in 2013 Councillor Belli had put the call out to ask staff to report back to council with options for replacing the downtown arena, complete with design, funding and location options, and potential sponsorship partners.
It appears he wasn’t married to the downtown location either as he asked city staff for location options.