There has been a lot of criticism over the years about Charlottetown’s sport and entertainment facility - the Eastlink Centre. With the 2023 Canada Winter Games a distinct possibility for the province, this issue will surely be a sore spot for a number of people. If we are to move forward with a new complex, now is the time to start making decisions.
The idea that this construction will have to be a twinned rink is in my view deeply flawed. There are numerous options available without burdening the new facility with this. There is an opportunity here to build a coliseum that would make Charlottetown and P.E.I. proud. First decision is the location.
The Event Grounds at the eastern entrance to the city has not lived up to the expectations that were foreseen years previous. Looking at the site, it’s almost like the groundwork for this project has already been established. A pedway instead of traffic lights from the parking lots would enhance things further. Limited parking for staff, deliveries and disabled would be on site. There has been a suggestion that a new facility should be built on the soon-to-be vacant government garage property. That is absurd.
We have an opportunity to build a beautiful arena that can be cost effective. With the right design the people producing events such as hockey, basketball, conventions and really any possible live events will look to this proposed arena as a place that can successfully fulfill their needs.