SUDBURY -- A Sudbury architectural firm says a new report favourable to the Kingsway Entertainment District didn’t give its own proposal a fair shake.

Project NOW is the brainchild of 3rd Line Studio. The firm says it can renovate Sudbury Arena for $60 million, $40 million less than the original budget for the KED.

But in a report headed to city council June 16, consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said renovating the arena would cost between $115.4 million and $118.6 million. It would also cost more to operate and is a riskier project.

"A modernized SCA (Sudbury Community Arena) would likely generate a higher operating deficit compared to a new events centre," the report said. "A modernized SCA would also have a higher risk profile compared to a new build events centre on either the Kingsway site or downtown site."

But in a news release Tuesday, 3rd Line Studio accused PwC of ignoring the actual Project NOW proposal.

"We understood this study would review the Project NOW assumptions and comment on program compliance, design strategies used and costing developed," the firm said.

"We expected that your team would reach out to us, but we were not contacted. We understood council would then be positioned to compare a Project NOW review to alternative new build options.

The report "did none of these things," 3rd Line Studio said.

"The report has conceived of entirely new vision for the Sudbury Community Arena, one that is nearly double the size and scope of the Project NOW proposal, and provided an analysis of this new, expanded project instead of Project NOW."

It accused the PwC report of misleading council in its conclusions.

"The result is NOT a fair review of Project NOW, and a fair comparison to any other option is no longer viable," the firm said. "This report misrepresents our firm’s work and created a narrative that is misleading and based on a false premise."

You can read the full release from 3rd Line Studios, which details their objections to the PwC report, here.

Not surprisingly, Sudbury Wolves owner Dario Zulich welcomed the PwC's conclusions. Zulich, who owns land where the KED would be built, said he supported the review by PwC.

"The independent and fact-based report, as prepared by the PwC team of professionals, now gives our mayor and council even more confidence and conviction to lead us through a post-COVID economic recovery, which many say will resemble the roaring 20s,” Zulich said in a statement.

"We must now come together as a unified team, moving forward positively and with all our might, for the exciting work is about to begin.”

City councillors will review the PwC report at a special meeting June 16.