Digital sign means more $ for arena

A double-sided billboard outside Leaside Memorial Community Gardens could be in for a facelift that would generate four times the annual rental for the arena and reduce the cost of ice time.

That would be done by making the sign digital and having one side, facing south, available for renting by other companies. The north-facing side would display arena events and other Leaside happenings.

In 2014 the arena received about $9,300. That would increase to $45,000 says Outfront Media, the sign’s owner, which has rented the space on the arena property for 20 years. The new board would cost Outfront Media $250,000 to build and install.

“It’s a unique sign,” says Steve Wolowich, Outfront Media’s senior director of real estate. “It’s not just a billboard on a pole. We created a whole design element that picks up the architectural features of the rink. The [arena] board loved it.”

Outfront Media has applied for a Sign By-Law Amendment with the city. It’s expected to be heard by city council this summer.