Kitchener considering new auditorium, possibly closer to downtown core
KITCHENER -- The City of Kitchener is considering building a new arena as The Aud turns 70 years old.
There isn't a set location, design or timeline, but Mayor Berry Vrbanovic says there are informal talks of replacing the landmark.
"This building continues to be well maintained and will be for many years to come," he says.
"But as the community grows and as people’s expectations around large venues for entertainment purposes changes, the community is going to have to get into the discussion around a new auditorium."
There are two popular options of where the new auditorium could go: either on the existing site on East Avenue, or closer to the downtown core.
But the city says before any decisions are made—likely closer to the end of this council term or the beginning of the next—it will need input from community partners, like the Kitchener Rangers and the KW Titans.
"This is where we started in our inaugural season," says Melissa Melnychuk with the Titans.
"This is where we've been for four years now, so it's our home."
She says that the Titans' ideal location would be Uptown Waterloo, to encourage people to take transit or walk to games and grab a bite to eat before or after.
Others who use the arena think it should stay where it is because of how close it is to the highway.
The city says that wherever the "new" auditorium ends up, it would keep its official name, The Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, to honour the veterans.
The Aud was last renovated in 2012, but the city says that its current site can't accommodate any further expansions.