Whether They’ll Say It Or Not, Council Is Abandoning Any Near Future Plans For A New Arena

Whether or not they’ll admit it, Monday’s Chatham-Kent council decision to move around the $18.5 million they had set aside for an arena complex is a clear message…don’t expect this project to come back in the near future.

Can we blame the idea of moving money away from a new complex, when Chatham-Kent chose not to put ice into Thames Campus this winter, and could have easily done without at least one other arena based on current usage?


But is this a bad sign for those who have pushed and campaigned for a new arena in Chatham-Kent for a decade? Yes.

Council approved moving $11.2 million to the disaster mitigation reserve, $2.6 million be transferred to the Chatham public works garage project, and $4.7 million to its backbone fibre network commitment.

All important projects and funds.

But when money goes away, it doesn’t always come back, despite the fact council stated they aren’t abandoning an arena project.

The $18.5 million was originally set aside when Chatham-Kent believed they were in the running for Provincial and Federal funding. When that fell through, council kept the money in an arena reserve for future planning.

However, as with everything, 2020 has changed plans.

Will we see a new arena in Chatham-Kent in the coming years? It’s less likely now. Money can always be moved from one reserve to another, but those decisions involve future votes, which are never a sure thing.

For now, Chatham-Kent residents will continue to use the outdated and deteriorating facilities as is, and will continue to foot the bill for ever increasing maintenance costs for this ageing facilities.

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