It seems a war of arenas has broken out on Île Perrot.
Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot announced Wednesday night an arena will be built on its territory, to open in the summer of 2014. The actual site of the arena has not yet been made public.
The announcement comes two months after the latest setback by neighbouring Pincourt in its 10-year-long saga to build an arena. An empty shell of a building has been sitting abandoned in Pincourt for nearly 10 years, since cost overruns caused the non-profit company in charge of constructing the arena to declare bankruptcy.
After a long legal battle, Pincourt purchased the land in 2009. Last summer, Pincourt came to an agreement in principle with a pair of private investors: Pincourt native and Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows, and local entrepreneur Paul Roy. However that deal fell through in November because the parties couldn’t agree on terms.
That same pair is now behind the N.D.I.P. arena, and has come to an agreement in principle with that town to build a $17-million facility that will include two indoor rinks and four outdoor ball hockey rinks, a restaurant and a gym.
Marie-Claude Nichols, the mayor of N.D.I.P., said she’s pleased with the agreement reached with the group.
“It’s great for us, because the town won’t be investing any public money into this arena,” she said, adding that she is confident the project will be completed as promised.
While the arena will be owned and operated by a private company, Nichols said she hopes to come to an agreement to allow residents of the island to have preferential ice time.
She said the private consortium approached N.D.I.P. only after the deal fell through with Pincourt.
Maxime Poirier, who is the project’s manager, said the company was able to come to terms with N.D.I.P. on issues that it could not agree on with Pincourt. He refused to specify what those issues were.
He added he hopes to break ground on the arena this fall.
When asked whether Pincourt would be upset with this deal, Nichols said she didn’t know.
“I called (Cardinal) to let him know about this agreement as a courtesy so he doesn’t hear about it through the news,” she said. “But these negotiations involved N.D.I.P.; they have nothing to do with Pincourt.”
Upon hearing the news, Pincourt sent a statement to local media saying it still intends to complete its sports complex.
“The announcement … took the Town of Pincourt by surprise, considering that the previous negotiations between this group and the Town of Pincourt ended due to the nature of the demand from the group which could not be reached in a municipal context,” the statement read.
The statement went on to say that Pincourt was under the impression that the Régie des équipements de loisir de l’île Perrot would review the arena file at its next meeting.
Officials at Pincourt refused further comment on the subject.
Pincourt’s full statement is posted below.