Prince George City Council has opted to pay for an upgrade to the CN Centre that will cost over $500,000.00.

During the February 11th Budget Meeting, council postponed the approval of the CN Centre Dasher Board Replacement Project and directed administration to try and negotiate a 50/50 split between the Prince George Cougars and the city for the cost.

“What we received back was further information that we should consider as a council which is that this is not specifically for the Cougars, this is for our facility that we own and we operate, they are a tenant of that facility,” said Councillor Kyle Sampson.  

According to the presentation made to council, the dasher board system is original from when the building opened nearly 24 years ago and includes both the boards and the tempered glass panels on top.

The arena staff has advised that the existing system is approaching the end of its lifespan and should be replaced for the benefit of all arena users and visitors.

From the city council agenda:

The dasher board system in CN Centre is removed and re-installed many more times than would be normal in a City arena to accommodate various events at CN Centre, such as hockey games, trade shows, concerts, and even monster truck shows. The current boards are made of steel and the constant exposure to ice and water eventually creates rust. 

“This is the cost of running a facility like that,” said Sampson.

He added they’ll be using that upgrade as a negotiation piece when discussing the Cougars contract, which is currently happening.

“We’ll use it to show them we’re invested in this partnership and that we’re trying to adhere to their timelines for their changes. But we want to them to come to the table when it’s negotiating time to make sure both sides are successful in their tenancy at the CN Centre.”  

The cost of the boards has already been added into the budget and is accounted for.