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Game on for St. Catherines Spectator facility

It’s game on for the new downtown spectator facility now that city council has awarded Ball-Rankin Construction Inc. the $45 million contract to design and build the new spectator facility at 55 McGuire St. in St. Catharines, Ont.

“As a council we reaffirm our commitment to revitalize our downtown core as we endorse Ball-Rankin to help us build a new spectator facility,” Mayor Brian McMullan said in a news release.

The $45 million spectator facility in downtown St. Catharines will be the new home of the Niagara IceDogs. It also will act as a venue for a wide range of entertainment events.

“We’re excited to see the results of this transformation in the heart of our community as we create a new home for the Niagara IceDogsand a venue for a wide range of sports and entertainment.”

Ball-Rankin Construction Inc. is a consortium of Rankin Construction and Ball Construction, two companies that collaborated on a similar project, Brantford’s Wayne Gretzky Sports Complex.

Ball Construction and PBK Architects, the firm hired by the consortium to design the spectator facility, have worked together on similar projects such as Sarnia’s RBC Centre and Guelph’s Sleeman Centre. Rankin Construction will also donate a physical connection to St. Paul Street for pedestrian access to the facility as a value-added option.

In September, the city received proposals from the three teams it had selected in the summer to bid on the project. The other two were Giffels Westpro/NORR Project Team and PCL Contractors Canada Inc.

The city’s list of requirements included: a minimum of 4,500 seats with an ability to expand; an ability to host a range of entertainment options in addition to Junior “A” hockey; and a maximum price of $45 million.

Construction is scheduled to start later this year with completion expected for fall 2014.

In mid-November, the IceDogs and the city signed a long-term licence agreement for the new spectator facility, keeping the Ontario Hockey League team in downtown St. Catharines.

“We really have scored a hat trick,” McMullan said. “Council renewed our commitment to build a new spectator facility; we recently hired Ball-Rankin to construct it; and have now negotiated a long-term license with the Niagara IceDogs.”

As part of the agreement, the IceDogs will receive space in the new downtown spectator facility for storage, team offices, a retail store, workout rooms, lockers and dressing rooms, in addition to ice time for practices and games.

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