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Bruce Bennett

Graeme Roustan made his pitch for a 20,000-seat arena in the Greater Toronto Area on Thursday to a group of councillors for the Town of Markham.

The chairman of Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. wants to build the $325-million project on a parcel of land partially owned by Markham at the Unionville GO station on Highway 407 between Warden Avenue and Kennedy Road. He told the councillors the plan is to build it without public money.

While the arena will compete with the Toronto Maple Leafs' Air Canada Centre for events, Roustan says there are no plans to chase a second NHL franchise for the GTA.

"We think this is an exceptional opportunity for Markham because the construction of this facility will not rely on taxpayers," Roustan said in a press release. "This venue will be fully supported by private investors and the local development community without any municipal, provincial or federal contributions."

The proposal will be discussed Friday afternoon by Markham council's general committee. It is then expected to go before the full council April 26 for discussion and approval.