Markham continues plans for new arena after marathon council session

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Markham City Council went into the wee hours of the morning, listened to as many as a reported 80 members of the public, but ultimately voted to continue plans to build a 20,000-seat arena.

The motion to stop financial framework for $325 million in funding for the arena didn’t pass; it lost by a narrow vote of 7-6.

The actual vote did not take place until 2:46 a.m. ET, according to a tweet from TSN writer Michael Gallo.

The council meeting was, naturally, a major issue on Twitter, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area.

Former NHL Players’ Association executive director Paul Kelly was present at the meeting, and spoke in favor of the proposed NHL-caliber arena. And so continues the prospect that the GTA could get a second NHL team.

“I’ve discussed it with many owners, the commissioner and many players,” Kelly told CBC’s Elliotte Friedman following the presentation. “That’s given me a strong sense that at some point there will be a second team [in the greater Toronto area].”

Kelly added: “When I went through it with the NHL, I was told the Maple Leafs would be entitled to financial compensation – maybe over a number of years – but would have no right to block a team.”