New Sting, city lease to trigger PASA improvements

Progressive Auto Sales Arena (Photo Courtesy of Sarnia Sting)

A new lease agreement between the Sarnia Sting and City of Sarnia will keep major junior hockey in Progressive Auto Sales Arena and trigger significant building upgrades.

Mayor Mike Bradley said the new deal is renewable in five year periods up to 20 years and will see ticket surcharge revenue funnelled back into the arena for capital needs.

“That surcharge is on tickets, it was meant to be there to renew the building,” said Bradley. “That money, that $600,000 we’re going to put into the building — along with the Sting and with some help from minor hockey, girls hockey — will put the building back to where it should be. The Sting will be taking over the suites, there will be major money going into other parts of the building. Using the surcharge the roof will be replaced in the next year or so.”

Bradley said other renovations, including gender-neutral dressing rooms and new boards and glass, will modernize the arena and satisfy the diverse needs of the community.

“There are issues coming forward related to the glass in the building and that will be dealt with in the next year or two and it’s going to accommodate LGBTQ2 minor hockey players and I think that’s important, because the building was built in a different time.”

Bradley is hoping the investments will also see a return to major entertainment in the facility.

The city will approve any plans but the Sting will be in charge of construction and be responsible for any project cost overruns.

The enabling bylaw will be considered by city council at its meeting Monday.