Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Rochester City Council may decide soon if it will appoint a task force to look into a proposed new arena at the Mayo Civic Center.

The council discussed the proposal at its Monday committee meeting.

The Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau led Monday’s discussion about the proposal that has been talked about for two years. RCVB Executive Director Brad Jones told the council the proposal that has been evolving involves the demolition of Taylor Arena and replacing it with a facility that would have 6,500-8,000 seats and the capability to accommodate events involving ice, turf or floor. There is also talk of a retractable wall that would open the arena to Mayo Park.

Estimated costs run as high as $60-million and Jones told the council it’s hoped private funds would cover most of the construction expenses. He also said a study projected the arena would operate in the black.

There has been talk of a hockey and/or basketball team that would lease the arena.

Council member Nick Campion raised concerns and told Jones he would prefer to wait a few years to see how the expanded civic center pans out. Council member Michael Wojcik also questioned the need for a new arena and suggested a referendum be held to gauge public support.

It’s proposed the task force would include the mayor and two council members and that its meetings would be open to the public. A vote could come at the council’s next regular meeting.  
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