The $325 million Markham, Ontario arena plan could be sent back to the drawing board tonight, as the Markham city council is set to vote on whether to rescind the plan it approved last April for the Toronto suburb to pay for half the construction cost, mostly via special fees levied on new development. The last time anyone checked, a majority of the council was having second thoughts about the deal, so it’s entirely possible the motion to rescind will pass. Councillor Jim Jones, who has opposed the deal from the start, told Torstar News Service, “It will probably be a no-holds-barred meeting. People should come out because it will be educational, entertaining and maybe confrontational.” And it looks like there’ll be an audio webcast, at least, so tune in to be educated, entertained, and confronted!
Of course, even if the council ditches this deal, it could just decide that what it really needs is to build an arena some other way. Councillors met with former Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett yesterday, and he told the Toronto Star that he’d be willing to discuss getting involved with a reworked arena deal that was done in “a broader-based way.” Old arena plans never die, they just turn into new arena plans.