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Mayor Brede 'pretty skeptical' of arena proposal, according to email

Mayor Brede 'pretty skeptical' of arena proposal, according to email

Mayor Ardell Brede remains "pretty skeptical" of a proposal to build a new multipurpose arena in downtown Rochester, according to an email he wrote earlier this month to City Administrator Steve Kvenvold.

In a memo dated Oct. 13, one day after the arena proposal was presented to the city council, Brede voiced frustration that the project has moved forward without input from the city.

 
 

"I was surprised with the 'progress' made by RCVB and the Hammes Company," Brede wrote in the email, which was released to the Med City Beat this week in accordance with Minnesota's Data Practices Act. "This was done with minimal involvement of the City and no direction from the Council, not a positive!"

Brede gave a list of a dozen concerns he had about the project, including how it would be funded and whether the city would support a United States Hockey League team given its "history of failed pro, semi-pro sports teams." 

Preliminary plans call for the demolition of the Mayo Civic Center's Taylor Arena and the construction of a new facility anchored by a USHL team. The project would cost between $55-75 million.

The proposal, now more than six months in the making, was commissioned by the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau. The project would require public funding, though we still don't know how much.

In an informal poll earlier this month, 74 percent of respondents indicated that building a new arena should not be a top priority for the city.


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