Attracting people to Churchill Square during events is never a problem for the city.

Run for the Cure brings 10,000 people out for a run in October, and when the Taste of Edmonton is on in the summer, just try to find a seat in the beer gardens.

But now the city wants people to hang out at Churchill Square when nothing official is scheduled.

“We’re not really looking to get more events, the focus is really on making people feel comfortable in the square,” said Ellen Finn, director of civic events. “We want to have activities for them to participate in on a casual basis when there are no scheduled activities or events happening.”

Last year, the city brought in portable basketball hoops, which Finn said was quite successful, until they tried to host a three-on-three tournament and nobody registered.

The 2010 Grey Cup Festival committee is interested in a “portable facility,” a large canvass structure that would cover Churchill Square for cup celebrations.

“There has been some conversation about whether or not the Grey Cup Festival would be interested in purchasing that tent and then looking to gift it to the city afterwards,” Finn said.

“Or are they looking to just rent it for the week of activities? It would be something that could potentially go in for a season, but certainly you wouldn’t put it up for one day and then take it down the next, it’s way too massive for that.”

The civic events department will now go through a process over the next few months involving stakeholders like the Downtown Business Association and the Edmonton Arts Council and the general public to come up with a new strategy to present back to council in June.