Edinans work hard and play hard. Right now, one of our best places to play --
Braemar Arena -- is in play itself. During this fall’s General Election, Edina voters will decide if another $31.7 million of the local sales tax should be used to fund an expansion of Braemar Arena to better serve the more than half-million people who visit the arena annually.
New entry, lobby and circulation.
Two new rinks in place of the current South Rink.
Edina voters approved Phase One of the Braemar Arena investment plan in November 2022, which created a half-percent sales tax to provide funding for critical infrastructure needs at the arena, such as replacing the ice refrigeration systems, heat and boiler systems and roofing. However, this investment does not address space constraints due to high demand, safety issues with the drop-off and pick-up area or parking improvements. Now, the City is asking voters to consider Phase Two of the investment plan to expand Braemar Arena, which would allow more of Edina’s athletes and families to enjoy additional ice time closer to home.
Last year, Edina voters approved a half-percent sales tax increase to provide $39.3 million for investments in Braemar Park and Arena and Fred Richards Park. These investments include new trails, additional courts for pickleball and basketball, new playgrounds and gathering spaces, nature preservation and infrastructure updates at the arena. Now, the City is asking voters in November to consider using the same sales tax to support expanding Braemar Arena. The expansion would include an additional indoor ice rink, larger lobby area, safer drop-off zone and additional parking.
No. The sales tax is authorized to be used for no more than 19 years. The referendum for the Braemar Arena expansion would allow the city to use the sales tax to collect an additional $31.7 million before the tax expires.
If voters approve the referendum, the City would tear down the South Rink at Braemar Arena and build two new ice rinks, resulting in four indoor rinks and one outdoor seasonal rink. The investment also includes building a larger lobby and a safe drop-off/pick-up area as well as additional parking.
The Edina City Council determined that the cost of the projects should be shared among residents and nonresidents who buy goods and services in the city rather than use a property tax increase, which would be paid solely by those who own commercial and residential property in the city. Approximately 54 percent of the sales tax increase would be paid by nonresidents of Edina, according to an analysis by the University of Minnesota.
No. The sales tax expires in 19 years. If the bonds for the projects are paid off before then, the sales tax expires earlier. The only way the tax could be extended or used for other projects would be if the Legislature authorized the change and Edina voters approved.
- Mayor James B. Hovland