Moncton’s new $100-million downtown arena complex is still two years from its grand opening, butit’s already having an effect on the city.

Shows for the facility are already being booked, and the project has also spurred tens of millions of dollars in economic development in the downtown.

On Thursday CTV News toured the work site, which is on time and on budget.

“Last winter was an exceptional winter, so it allowed us to get on the site the first of March,” says project director Steve Leger. “We started our foundations a little bit earlier than what we planned on.”

Now that the arena is starting to take shape, other investments in the downtown linked to the facility are pouring in.

“We’ve seen development projects come to life,” says City of Moncton spokesperson Isabelle LeBlanc. “Thus far we’ve got $50-million in development projects in and around the facility with more to come in the downtown area.”

SMG Canada will be running the facility. They manage more than 65 arenas around the world, and with that experience, comes a long list of contacts.

“It will enable us to attract acts like Cirque du Soleil, like we’ve talked about for so many years that have seemed to bypass us,” says LeBlanc. “We’re getting interest now into 2021 already.”

So far 1,300 tons of steel has been put in place, and right now there’s a crew of about 40 working onthe project.

“That’s going to ramp up as the precast bleachers start and as the exterior walls start with the masonry and steel stud,” says Leger. “We’ll probably ramp up to about 150 at the peak, and that will be next spring and summer.”

Plans for the grounds surrounding the complex include a skating oval that would convert to a concert venue, basketball courts, and a green space in the summer.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis