Sault Ste. Marie City Council tonight gave the green light to add as many as 24 additional private suites at the Steelback Centre.
Acting on a recommendation from Commissioner of Community Services Nick Apostle, councillors agreed to tender the construction under two options.
The first option calls for a Phase II adding 12 new suites to the 13 built as part of the original Phase I arena construction.
The second option is for a Phase III, adding 12 more suites for a total of 37.
The City's Sports and Entertainment Centre Steering Committee will receives bids on both options and then report back to City Council.
At a gala event in June 2006, 24 suites were leased to the public at costs of $8,000 and $11,000 each, depending on whether they were leased over five, seven or 10-year terms.
In November, the arena steering committee recommended proceeding with only Phase I of the project, because it believed it would be cheaper to tender out the other phases later, instead of building them with the arena.
Deposits paid on the extra box suites were returned to the purchasers, and those names were put on a waiting list.
"We believed the price for this part of the project would come in around $1.1 million. But instead it came back at $1.6 million," said Ward 1 Councillor and committee chair James Caicco in an earlier story.
At tonight's meeting, Caicco said that the committee has a long enough waiting list of people who want to lease suites to ensure leasing all of Phase II and part of Phase III.