City gives REAL green light to proceed with Brandt Centre future planning

Regina’s executive committee has approved Regina Exhibition Association Limited’s (REAL) proposal to proceed with the second phase of determining the future of the Brandt Centre.

For the last year, REAL has been developing an Arena Planning Strategy Committee to help decide what to do with the aging facility.

The committee presented its findings to Regina’s Executive Committee on Wednesday morning.

The report offers three options: leaving the building as it is today, investing around $40 million into upgrades to the existing building or building a completely new facility for around $100 million.

“The reality is we need a new venue in the city of Regina. We need to consider where that would be and what it would look like,” Tim Reid, the president & CEO of REAL, said Wednesday. “The recommendation that was accepted today was that the committee would start to do a detailed analysis of a second phase of this project, which is how we would go about building a new mid-sized multi-purpose event center.”

“I think the in-depth analysis in terms of the condition of the current Brandt Centre and the recommendations coming forward for the city is a little bit of the vision of who do we want to be,” said Regina Mayor Sandra Masters.

The city’s executive committee voted unanimously to approve the next phase.

REAL proposed the Brandt Centre could be repurposed for indoor basketball courts or hockey facilities, walking tracks or tradeshow spaces.

“The reality of it is, for very limited investment we could turn this into a fantastic recreational amenity and additional conference or tradeshow space, or really a 2,500-person entertainment venue that we don't necessarily have in this format,” Reid said.

REAL has a year to compile its findings and report back to the committee on cost, public opinion and proposed locations.