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Moncton Events Centre almost complete

Written by on July 12, 2018

CTV Atlantic
Published Wednesday, July 11, 2018 11:48PM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:48AM ADT

After more than a decade of studies, planning, and two years of construction the new downtown events centre in Moncton is essentially complete.

The $100-million facility was built to revitalize the downtown and, according to Moncton city officials, that’s exactly what’s happening.

“We needed something to revitalize our downtown and we feel the events centre is going to have that affect and already has had an effect,” said City of Moncton spokeswoman Isabelle Leblanc.

The new centre is part of the reason the Smith family left the outskirts and moved to the heart of the city.

“We already have our season tickets for the Wildcats and club seats so we can get first dibs on all the events and we’ve purchased four events already,” said Glenn Smith. “We will be here.”

Now that substantial completion has been reached, it’s time for the city to pay up. $88 million has been transferred to Bird Construction while 15 per cent, or $13.8 million, is being held back until final completion.

That will be in September.

SMG Communications is responsible for booking events and director Bonnie Porter says the new facility has been an easy sell.

“We’ve got quite a few acts,” she said. “September, October and into November so far that we have announced.”

Among those acts are John Mellencamp, Keith Urban and for the first time ever in Moncton, the UFC.

Job fairs were held in June but Porter says there are still some vacancies to be filled.

“We still do have a few jobs posted on our website so we are still taking applications,” she said.

City officials say the hundreds of full- and part-time jobs will be just one of the spin-offs of the new arena.

A new Hyatt Hotel is also under construction next door.

Leblanc says normally they see up to $20 million of new development projects in the downtown. In 2017, that total more than doubled.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.