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Markham arena promoters will roll out ‘major announcement’ Saturday

Saturday could be a big day for professional hockey in the Greater Toronto Area, as promoters hoping to bring an NHL-size arena to Markham (a Toronto suburb) will make a “major announcement,” according to the Markham Economist & Sun.

The proposed $325 million project has proven controversial. There were rumblings that the deal might die back in August. The plan barely made it past a city council meeting in January, surviving via a 7-6 vote after a “marathon” session.

It’s polarizing for plenty of reasons, but the most glaring one is that they’re building an NHL-ready arena without an NHL tenant in line. Developer GTA Sports & Entertainment has repeatedly declared that finding one isn’t required to turn a profit. That doesn’t mean that bringing a second NHL franchise to the Greater Toronto Area isn’t the true goal, however.

With all of that controversy - not to mention persistent rumors about league expansion - in mind, it should be really interesting to hear the latest update regarding Markham’s bold arena plan.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins