FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Tourism Saskatoon Releases Data on Public Opinion for a Major Sport Facility Downtown
Public support has grown significantly from 51% in 2016, to over 63.4% in late 2017.
SASKATOON, SK - March 2018 - Tourism Saskatoon contracted Insightrix twice over the past two years to conduct an omnibus survey to gauge public opinion on constructing a major sport facility in the Downtown. Significant findings from the two surveys include:
- Overall support has risen from 51% For, 45% Against in the spring of 2016 to 63.4% For, 32.6% Against in October of 2017.
- Male support tops 70.7%, Female support is at 57.3%
- Younger demographic support exceeds the +55 group by 14%. Support peaks with 35 to 54 year olds at 69.3%.
- Very importantly, people of Indigenous ancestry are the strongest single group of supporters at 80%!
- Support remained decidedly positive across ALL income brackets.
Tourism Saskatoon was substantively involved during the research phase of the report released this week regarding the recommendation for a new downtown arena and convention centre. We agree with the findings that to maintain and grow the convention, entertainment and sport industries in our city, Saskatoon needs new facilities that will attract that business. With the location, age and design of our current arena and convention centre, the report found that we will begin to lose business to other destinations better able to accommodate their event needs.
Tourism Saskatoon's National Convention and International Convention teams, as well as Saskatoon Sport Tourism are at the frontline on a daily basis trying to secure events for Saskatoon. We have direct first-hand knowledge of our competitive environment and hear the concerns of events rights holders when we compare these two facilities to our competition. Feedback from recent BIDs lost confirms what the released report states. In the last few months Saskatoon has lost BIDs for both the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Diabetes Canada, due to capacity shortfalls at TCU Place. This is a loss to our city of more than 4,600 delegates who would have spent in excess of $4.5 million in our local economy.
Todd Brandt, President & CEO of Tourism Saskatoon has been in his role with the organization for more than 20 years. He has seen many hotly debated civic projects during his tourism career, perhaps none as frequently discussed as a downtown arena. "Tourism Saskatoon's current Strategic Plan, authored in 2014, specifically identifies the need to expand our hosting capacity for both TCU Place and Sasktel Centre if we expect to remain competitive in securing and hosting major national and international cultural, business and sporting events." says Brandt. "We will be losing BIDs to host at an increasing rate. The longer it takes to build, the more grim our situation will become."
"If we are to engage youth and our Indigenous community, these surveys should clearly focus our leaders on the direction forward." challenged Brandt.
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President & CEO, Tourism Saskatoon
Director of Media, Tourism Saskatoon
About Tourism Saskatoon
Tourism Saskatoon is a membership-based, non-profit visitor and convention bureau marketing Saskatoon and region as a destination of choice for leisure and business travel. Services include convention and events attraction, media relations, membership services, and advocacy. Tourism Saskatoon is proud to be an internationally accredited destination marketing organization. A place of unexpected surprise and discovery, Saskatoon provides visitors from near and far with the opportunity to experience the unforgettable. Where prairie skies meet urban parkland, Saskatoon is host to unique and captivating events, attractions and natural treasures, just waiting to be explored. With an open heart and vibrant energy, Saskatoon welcomes the world. For more information, visit www.tourismsaskatoon.com.