Should Sudbury Pump Its Breaks On KED And Downtown Spending

The Greater City of Sudbury is now at a cross roads that can no longer be ignored. The realities that the city faces begs the question, should Sudbury pump its breaks on the KED and Downtown spending?

Today the city is suggesting another 3.9% tax increase which is massive considering the amenities that the city does have. Here in Greater Sudbury we have much less than some communities 3 or 4 hours south of here. However in order to get some of these amenities built they need tenants.

Sudbury for too long has financed and bailed out many legacy projects in the city core with absolutely nothing but decay to show for it. With the city looking at building a new library, convention centre, cycling infrastructure and so on and so on, at some point they have to realize there is a limit to spending on a citizenry that is tapped out.

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There is one thing to build to be ready for a boom and to build to support a growing city or even to build to make life more convenient for existing residents (Maley Extension comes to mind), but to build for the sake of building is a recipe for disaster.

Should the city move forward with the Kingsway Entertainment District or KED for short, it will be in a tough position should Canada not have a vaccine ready. The KED is suppose to be built to be the future home of the Sudbury Wolves. This is where things may get a little sticky.

Many have dismissed the rumblings that the team may be relocated if the project continues to be stalled or shutdown altogether. However there may be an entirely different beast on the horizon that would leave very little options for the city.

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This is unprecedented times and with the coronavirus lingering around and no crystal ball on how soon a vaccine will be ready, the OHL has set a tentative start date of December 1st, 2020. They are planning a 64 game schedule with a 16 team playoff schedule. The league is also expected to be the host of the 2020-21 Memorial Cup which is set to play June 17-27, 2021 in either the Soo or Oshawa.

This shortening of the season will certainly hit the owners in the pocket book. Which brings up another point, how long will the owners of these teams lose money before they call it quits?

If there are no fans in the stands and no concessions being sold how would anyone expect a team that has a massive travel expenditures to survive?

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These questions of uncertainty could ultimately be the undoing of the long awaited KED. It would be unfortunate and a loss to the city, but with so much turmoil surrounding the project and the projects slated for downtown Sudbury, how could anyone rubber-stamp a permit to put shovels in the ground.

Of coarse this could just be a doomsday scenario, but unfortunately too many times we have seen where there is smoke there is usually fire.