The need for more concrete reinforcement to support the West Valley City Events Center has upped the price of the arena to $51.6 million.

Cost of construction on the 10,400-seat hockey arena remains fixed at $34.5 million, however.The price of stairs, docks, landscaping and walkways - anything requiring more concrete - contributes to the $1.5 million increase in the total cost, City Manager John Pat-terson said. Soil tests were completed and analyzed last month. Patterson said the price of the arena is not likely to rise any further.

"I think we're there. I'm 85 percent sure it will not exceed that," Patterson said. A gross maximum price agreement for the arena is expected in May from California-based Turner Construction Co.

New arena construction numbers, released Monday, show that the $4 million of a possible $9 million the city has always counted on for the sale of naming rights is no longer counted as a source of initial funds. Naming rights are now calculated as part of West Valley debt service. The city likely will not receive title sponsorship money before the arena is complete.

Construction is still slated for completion in September 1997. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled March 22.

Patterson said West Valley City still has not signed a contract for the $7 million the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee awarded it last summer. The two parties have been ironing out differences regarding the elimination of in-kind donations from the award. Patterson said West Valley City should sign the contract soon.