Northlands ‘Vision 2020’ Project Includes Making The Jungle Look Kind Of Sick
Source – Northlands CEO Tim Reid is expected to unveil the details of an ambitious $170-million plan Wednesday that could radically transform the non-profit group’s sprawling 64-hectare site in northeast Edmonton. In an exclusive hour-long interview Tuesday with the Journal, Reid laid out the key elements of Northlands’ so-called Vision 2020 scheme, which was developed by the 137-year-old organization in the past year and borrows from similar redevelopment schemes in other cities.
The highlights of Northlands’ sweeping revitalization plan include: The transformation of Rexall Place into the Northlands Ice Coliseum, a two-floor arena housing six or seven sheets of ice with seats for up to 3,000 spectators. The redesigned facility would feature exterior upgrades — including glass walled cut-outs — and would mainly target minor hockey and old-timers tournaments. Estimated cost for the facelift: about $85 million.
I almost spit out my coffee. The Northlands Ice Coliseum looks a trillion times cooler than the Concrete Jungle. Obviously the first question that immediately comes to mind is how on Earth they think they’re going to cut through those gargantuan concrete slabs on the Jungle’s exterior? But still, no denying the Jungle’s looking hot as fuck there. I don’t know whether to be insulted, jealous or just straight up impressed. That’s like seeing your heffer ex becoming a 10 just four years after breaking up. Part of me just wishes they’d leave the Jungle in its historic entirety and convert it into a museum/overhead bomb shelter. But the other part of me feels so inexplicably happy for it. Our generation’s barn actually looks extremely presentable in that artist’s rendition. Never in my life thought I’d see the day where the Jungle had glass but here we are. One day, when my future son is bullying teams in Minor Hockey Week, he’ll ask “Dad, did the Oilers once play in the Northlands Ice Coliseum?” to which I’ll reply: “No son, they played in the Jungle…” And a single tear will roll down my eye.