Tuesday's vote by city council on where the new arena/events centre is shaping up to be a close one, with some on council having already declared their intentions and others keeping voters in suspense.
The latest councillor to take a public stand is Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini, who came out in support of The Kingsway over downtown for the $80 million to $100 million facility.
That makes four of the 13 members of council publicly supporting Dario Zulich's plan to twin the events centre with a new casino, along with other amenities, on land he and partners have donated to the city.
He's joined by Ward 5 Coun. Bob Kirwan, Ward 7 Coun. Michael Jakubo and Ward 11 Coun. Lynne Reynolds, who have already publicly supported The Kingsway.
On the other side of the ledger, three publicly support keeping the rink downtown: Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti, Ward 6 Coun. Rene Lapierre and Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer.
That leaves Mayor Brian Bigger, Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier, Ward 4 Coun. Evelyn Dutrisac, Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh, Ward 10 Coun. Fern Cormier and Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann as question marks.
Bigger, Montpellier, Dutrisac and McIntosh all told sudbury.com the public will have to wait until Tuesday to find out how they will vote.
“Sorry, you will just have to wait until the meeting to find out my decision,” Montpellier said in an email.
In a similar vein, McIntosh said in a voicemail that she was still reviewing information and hearing from residents, and wanted to wait until the meeting to express her decision. Dutrisac said she believes the proper venue to reveal her decision is city council, and not before.
Cormier and Landry-Altmann did not respond to messages seeking information about their voting intentions.
In all, that makes four for the Kingsway, three downtown and six undeclared.
Vagnini was reluctant to predict how the vote would go, but expects it to be close.
"Although sometimes you look at these votes, you think it's going to be real close, and then it's 9-3," Vagnini said.
If he had his druthers, he'd prefer to spend money on other infrastructure, but that's not a voting option on Tuesday.
"But I'm not for a new arena downtown at all," Vagnini said.
He's supporting The Kingsway, in part, because he loves the concept of a redeveloped Sudbury Arena that Zulich presented last week. It reminds home of how Maple Leaf Gardens was repurposed as a day-long attraction with stores, squash and basketball courts, Leafs memorabilia and an ice pad on the third floor.
"I love that concept," he said."So that just solidifies where I'm going."
He also has serious questions about the consultants report recommending downtown. If they are following the process, city council said parking, cost and economic development are most important factors and The Kingsway came first in two of those three.
"How come the guy that came in second finishes first?" Vagnini asked. "(Consultant Ron) Bidulka himself said it's so close, it's hard to decide."