Finnish ice hockey legend Saku Koivu and mobile gaming giant Supercell founders Ilkka Paananen and Mikko Kodisoja say they're planning to build a huge events centre, hockey arena and hotel, business and residential complex in Turku.
The three men are part-owners of the TPS hockey club, and the planned ice hockey arena would become the team's new home.
The project's organisers presented their plans to the Turku City Council on Monday. They said that once complete, the centre will attract some five million visitors per year and create more than 2,000 jobs.
In a joint press release, Koivu, Paananen and Kodisoja said that they want to help develop Turku and create a retail-, business-, residential-, cultural- and tourism centre in Turku.
Survey: First step of many
Koivu, Paananen and Kodisoja are also members of the working group in charge of the project's preparatory survey.
According to the city of Turku, the survey is the first step towards making a development plan which will determine how the project will progress.
The plan is to construct the complex on Turku's old Logomo rail yard, on land owned by national railroad company VR.
In recent years part of the dilapidated yard was refurbished, and became the Logomo cultural centre which is housed in an updated 19th century, brick railroad workshop, and is a popular venue for concerts, events and other activities.
Koivu, Paananen and Kodisoja said their project is meant to improve the lives of locals and attract tourists from Finland and abroad.
"We want to be part of developing Turku as an attractive centre for business and trade, housing, culture and tourism. The Turun Ratapiha project provides an excellent opportunity for the comprehensive development of our home city," the men said in a joint statement.
New homes for TPS, 1,000 residents
If and when the project is completed, the planned 10,000-seat ice hockey arena will become the new home for local hockey team TPS, whose current home is the Gatorade Centre arena, roughly five kilometres to the west.
The new arena would also host concerts and other events, the organisers said. The plans also include residential apartments which would house some 1,000 people.
The project would be financed primarily with funding from private investors.
The city said that when completed, the complex would generate some 4.8 million euros in tax revenues to the city per year and that the construction phase would create nearly 800 jobs.
Negotiations about land use, initial construction plans and what role the city will play in the project are expected to continue.