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Joe MacCarthy

New Canadian stadiums

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If the city gives the Cats private boxes, advert revenue, concessions right etc. then there'll be no prob and Young will come back.

It's the $ stream that Young is concerned about. The withdrawl and threat to move will be taken back once the Ti-Cats see a way of getting thier $ back as private investorts in the stadium.

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Lack of stadium talk a Halifax mystery

CHRIS COCHRANE, The Chronicle Herald

Mon, Aug 9 - 6:57 AM

Sometimes you don’t notice the toys missing from your playpen until you see what the kids have next door.

That is the case with the stadium issue in Halifax. Since the misguided Commonwealth Games project went so wrong, there has been a collective passive acceptance that we don’t and won’t have a stadium in this market.

For many, the stadium would have been the crown jewel of the sport infrastructure legacy. And it would still fill that role if built in the future. Yet no one high up in the government or business worlds has publicly appeared bold enough to pick up the stadium cause.

I am not talking about a stadium as grandiose as the ultra-expensive structure proposed for the Commonwealth Games, but a more modest, functional model that could still bring great benefits.

There are signs, especially at the grassroots level, that momentum is again building for the stadium concept.

There’s an online petition floating around that has been drawing interest. People are again asking why Halifax is the only major Canadian city without a stadium. And leaders in various sports, who experience what other cities have to offer in terms of stadiums when they are away during competition, are again questioning why nothing is happening here.

What is behind this new enthusiasm?

Attribute much of the credit to Moncton, the smaller city that so often seems to have the blueprint for doing it right when it comes to providing sport services.

The recent world junior track and field championships, which brought a new stadium to Moncton, was, in hindsight, a more appropriate prey to hunt than the mega expensive 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Moncton stadium seats 10,000 people and has the ability to add another 10,000 in temporary seats. Not only has it been responsible for Moncton hosting a major international event this summer — attracting 1,400 athletes from 170 countries and international publicity for the giant meet — but it is also responsible for a CFL regular season game going to the New Brunswick city this fall.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Moncton’s new stadium is that the price most often tossed around is in the range of just over $20 million. If that is accurate, it is a bargain.

When you consider the many benefits a stadium could bring to any major Maritime market, it appears Moncton got a great deal. There is the potential CFL franchise, perhaps a semi-pro soccer team, maybe a football Vanier Cup game, increased national and international exposure for the host city, major international track events and other non-sporting attractions such as concerts and trade shows.

Maybe the reluctance in official circles to lead a stadium push for Halifax is a hangover from the Commonwealth Games. Perhaps no one wants to push the piece of infrastructure that was so associated with that costly project.

But is the cost of a stadium really so prohibitive?

The price tag on a new Halifax library floats somewhere in the $55-million vicinity. The four-pad arena off Hammonds Plains Road is said to be about $40 million. The figures I hear for a Halifax convention centre are in the range of $120 million to $140 million.

Yet a stadium, much like what Moncton built for reportedly just over $20 million, is often dismissed locally as being too expensive and frivolous?

When the potential benefits are weighed against the cost, the stadium looks like a reasonable investment. It is baffling, considering Moncton has already shown the way, why a Halifax stadium project isn’t at least receiving the deserved public debate.

Guess that is just another of the many mysteries of Halifax.

( ccochrane@herald.ca)

Chris Cochrane is a sports columnist with The Chronicle Herald.

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Here in Winnipeg what was originally a controversial decision to build the "new" arena downtown, on the graveyard which was the old Eaton's Department Store has in hind sight proven a brilliant move. As a commercial enterprise, in a commercial district it's an unqualified success and while it hasn't exactly turned around the immediate areas surrounding it overnight, there is no denying the venue has had positive influences which continue to build upon themselves towards the greater good.

I was in Winnipeg a few weeks ago and saw a Goldeyes game at Canwest Park. It is a great little stadium. And IMO is a great fit for an area like the Forks which is right next door to downtown (correct me if I'm wrong)

In 2009, the Goldeyes had attendance of 278,000 spread over 45 home games for an average of over 6,100 per game. The Moose had 310,000 over 40 home games for an average of over 8,000. Those are lots of potential customers for local businesses, and they are nicely spread out over a lot of games which makes for a modest gameday bump for local bars and restaurants.

I think the problem is that CFL stadiums are very different animals than arenas or ballparks. A CFL stadium gets a a similar number of people into an area but spread over only 10 dates. If local bars and restaurants were big enough to service the gameday visitors, they'd be empty the other 355 days a year. But if they were adequately sized for the 355 non-CFL days, they'd have little room for any CFL patrons.

I just don't see how a CFL stadium can help revitalize an area. If a stadium would revitalize the surrounding area, wouldn't the area around Ivor Wynne Stadium be full of condos, restaurants and the like? AFAIK, the neighbourhood around Ivor Wynne is pretty run down. As is the neighbourhood around Commonwealth Stadium. As is the neighbourhood around Taylor Field.

IMO football stadiums belong out in the sticks while arenas and ballparks belong downtown.

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McGuinty offered help

August 21, 2010 Andrew Dreschel THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR

Mayor Fred Eisenberger admits the province told him they were ready to help make a stadium on the east Mountain work for the city.

Eisenberger says he didn't share that information with the rest of Hamilton's council before the crucial Aug. 12 stadium vote because the province didn't offer specific details.

The suggestion of assistance came earlier this month during a phone call with Premier Dalton McGuinty's office, informing Eisenberger that the province was tagging along with the federal government and would only fund a stadium on the east Mountain, the site preferred by the Tiger-Cats.

Eisenberger says he was also told during that "quick and shocking" conversation that the city now needed to start thinking about what it needed to make that work.

"We didn't get into any specifics," Eisenberger recalls.

He says he reiterated that the city wants a light-rail system and mentioned other projects that are already in the provincial funding queue.

No commitments were made, says Eisenberger. No dollar figures were tossed around.

He says the phone call ended with the premier's proxy saying the province had fiscal restraints, but they would get back to him to talk about the city's needs.

"You can interpret that as an indicator they were prepared to be helpful in some way," said Eisenberger.

Everything changed the next day, of course.

The feds and province flip-flopped and tossed the decision between the west harbour and east Mountain back into council's lap.

A week later, council voted 10-6 for the west harbour.

Eisenberger's account of his phone call dovetails with information from Spectator sources that the province did in fact raise the prospect of assisting with city-building incentives in exchange for foregoing a stadium in the west harbour.

Should the mayor have told the rest of council before the big vote?

"I'm not really clear what I was supposed to tell council," says Eisenberger.

"There was really nothing new there other than saying start thinking about what you're going to need."

But an angry Councillor Brad Clark says the information could have dramatically changed the dynamic of the vote, which saw council back a site without the Ticats aboard as a tenant.

"We all believed if we had additional resources at the table ... then we could have found a solution," said Clark.

"To find out that they actually did make that offer to talk about additional resources and that wasn't shared with council, at Queen's Park or at the federal government that would be contempt of the House."

A surprised Councillor Sam Merulla says it was unfair of Eisenberger to withhold the information.

"An emergency council meeting could have been called to share what was being offered," said Merulla.

"We could have probed what other monies or information were coming or even delayed the vote to see what this actually meant to both issues - the city-building component and the Tiger-Cats issue."

The signal of support was certainly a far cry from mayoral rival Larry Di Ianni's accusation that the province offered Eisenberger millions of dollars for re-developing the west harbour if council voted to build the Pan Am stadium elsewhere.

It's also drastically less tangible than the scuttlebutt and anonymous letters floating around claiming Eisenberger was offered some $20 million in assistance.

The mayor has firmly and publicly rebutted all those accusations, most recently during the council meeting that re-confirmed the west harbour as the stadium site.

"I can tell you emphatically and clearly, (that) never happened," Eisenberger told council back then.

"If I had heard it, I would have shared it."

The question is, why didn't he feel the same obligation to share what he really did hear?

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Pan Am Games track goes to York U

CBC News August 23, 2010

The marquee track and field events at the 2015 Pan Am Games will be held at York University.

The university said in a news release on Monday that it is currently in "discussions with organizers regarding the construction of a stadium on its Keele campus that would host track and field events during the Games."

York will pay 44 per cent of the stadium's cost. The rest of the money will come from the provincial and federal governments.

"We are thrilled about this development, as it is a tremendous opportunity for York University, as well as the broader community," said York University president Mamdouh Shoukri.

York also said on Monday the stadium (and university) will be the host of the rugby tournament during the Games, as well as the tennis competition, which had been previously announced.

The stadium will hold 10,000 people with 5,000 permanent and 5,000 temporary seats.

The decision to move the track and field events from Hamilton to Toronto was made after a battle erupted in Hamilton over the location of a new sports stadium.

The City of Hamilton and the owner of the Hamilton Tiger Cats CFL franchise disagreed over the where to put the new facility so Athletics Canada decided in July to move the events for several reasons, including having the track venue closer to the athletes' village.

Ian Troop, CEO of the organizing committee for the Games, said the move to Toronto was unrelated to a squabble between Hamilton city council and the CFL's Tiger-Cats.

"It had nothing to do with it whatsoever," said Troop. "It was really a question of looking to make an adjustment that would improve the execution of the Games themselves."

Troop said the BMO field in Toronto isn't able to handle all of the soccer games and another major venue, such as the stadium in Hamilton, is needed to host soccer games.

"Hamilton is and will be a very important part of these Games and the switch between soccer and athletics doesn't change their role or importance."

Hamilton will also host indoor cycling and volleyball.

Edited by Joe MacCarthy

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RE: Early stadium design wins kudos from panel

I’m very glad they chose to redo Frank Clair instead of building a new stadium out in Kanata next to ScotiaBank Place. Overall, I like this design, but with a few misgivings:

1) The price tag for a reno is still too high. If you can build a new stadium for $100M +, then why would wouldn’t you?

2) Enclosing the steel frames is a good idea, but I’m concerned about using cedar all over. After a while exposed to Ottawa winters, it will start rotting and will become a hazard with the wind. Maybe limiting the natural wood, to closer to street level would be a compromise.

3) The grassy berms at the endzones are nice, but for the coziness of soccer-specific stadium, you must have seating at the endzones, even if limited like in at Saputo. Endzone seats are really great for soccer, but not so great for football. To accommodate dual use, endzone seats could be put on rollers and rolled in close to the goal lines for soccer and rolled out past the endzones for football.

4) Most new stadiums need the option of generating new revenue and are doing so by incorporating a stage for concerts. Where is the stage in the redesigned stadium? Unlike most stadium designs that put the stage in the endzone, I believe it should be integrated into the middle of the stands, preferably the new south-side stands. This would allow the north-side, covered stands to be used for concerts, along with the 75 yards of field width. You don’t need the full field length for concerts, as it’s just too long. And for that, we have Lebreton Flats.

Edited by Kik-d-bol

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1) The price tag for a reno is still too high. If you can build a new stadium for $100M +, then why would wouldn’t you?

2) Enclosing the steel frames is a good idea, but I'm concerned about using cedar all over. After a while exposed to Ottawa winters, it will start rotting and will become a hazard with the wind. Maybe limiting the natural wood, to closer to street level would be a compromise

Basically it will be a new stadium. One side will be completely refurbished and the other will be built from the ground up. This is the approach Saputo Stadum used. They used the structure from one concrete grandstand and built new everywhere else likely saving a fair amount of money on site preparation.

Studies have been done on the wood so I'm assuming it is structurally sound. Using wood in a stadium construction is not new. Examples are the Tacoma Dome and the ISS Stadion, formerly Pohjola Stadion in Vantaa, Finland.

I'm confident that the developers involved have done their research and it will be something truly special.

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I’m concerned about using cedar all over. After a while exposed to Ottawa winters, it will start rotting and will become a hazard with the wind. Maybe limiting the natural wood, to closer to street level would be a compromise.

Lansdowne: Frank Clair veil under scrutiny

Members of the OSEG team have concerns about the durability of the wood laminate intended for the signature element. Some have suggested the architect look at using different materials

Don Butler, The Ottawa Citizen August 30, 2010

OTTAWA — The signature element of the revitalized Frank Clair stadium is under close scrutiny as the Lansdowne project’s architects work to finalize an integrated site plan for the park.

As designed, the stadium’s most striking feature is a $7.5-million “veil” of glued laminated Alaskan yellow cedar that would enclose new south-side stands. The veil motif also appears at the entrances to the north-side stands.

Stadium architect Rob Claiborne told the Citizen the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group team has “been doing a lot of work on guaranteeing that the wood will be durable.

“Everyone’s getting to be more comfortable with that.”

But some team members still have concerns about the durability of a wood laminate veil, he said. As a result, some have suggested that Claiborne should look at different materials.

There’s even been “one or two mentions” of using steel instead of wood, Claiborne said, though “we haven’t been tasked with seriously investigating it at this point.”

Claiborne described the discussions as “due diligence. Before the veil gets built, he said, “we have to all be not just sure, but positive.”

He said he was “pretty comfortable” with the wood product’s durability, noting that an undulating boardwalk along Toronto waterfront is made of the “exact same” material. It’s been in place seven years, and still looks “absolutely perfect,” he said.

Another point of contention is whether wood laminate, if used, should be treated with oils and pigments to keep it from changing colour.

Left untreated, yellow cedar will gradually turn a silvery grey colour. Claiborne said OSEG team members love the look of yellow cedar when it’s new, but “they’re not fully comfortable that they like it when it’s aged and silver grey.

“We don’t want to put a product out there that the community thinks, look, it’s 10-to-15 years old and it’s looking pretty worn out,” Claiborne said. “In fact, structurally it’s absolutely solid.”

The decision involves more than esthetics. “The minute you start treating (the wood), it’s a maintenance issue and you’ll be doing it every four years,” Claiborne said. “You have to think about that very carefully.”

Even if the team opts for steel, a paint job would be needed every decade or so, he added.

The ultimate decision is one the whole team will make, said Claiborne. “At the end of the day, everybody will be comfortable together with what the product is.”

So far, Claiborne said, the $110-million stadium is on budget. “The costs have been looked at a couple of times now, and I feel fairly confident.”

The city of Ottawa is paying for the stadium as budgeted, but OSEG is on the hook for any cost overruns.

Claiborne said the project team has been working for the past six weeks to integrate the design of the project’s stadium and mixed use elements with those of the winners of the urban park competition, Vancouver landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg.

He said the work is going “surprisingly well.” The final site plan, he said, “will be better. It’s leaner but it’s also smoother.”

The site plan will be presented to city council for approval in November.

The end result, Claiborne predicted, will be “Ottawa’s greatest park. This is going to be an amazing park, a park for people to enjoy.”

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Pan Am stadium talks between Tiger-Cats and city back on track

Donovan Vincent Staff Reporter Aug 30 2010

A few weeks ago, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were locked in a bitter war of words with the city, with the team threatening to leave town if they didn’t get a new Pan Am stadium built at their preferred location.

But Pan Am officials have apparently forced the city’s hand.

Hamilton recently voted to build a new stadium for the 2015 Pan Am Games at its West Harbour location over the objections of the Ticats, who called for a stadium in the East Mountain area.

Before the vote the team threatened to leave town, angered that the city seemed “fixated” on the West Harbour site.

But in meetings last week, Pan Am representatives told city officials they would only support a stadium of around 5,000 seats given there would be no legacy tenant.

Now there seems to be a rapprochement between the city and the football club, with a third stadium site in play.

Ticats owner Bob Young wrote a letter to Hamilton’s mayor Monday expressing support for the idea of putting a new Pan Am stadium near Aberdeen Ave. and Longwood Rd. S. in the city’s west end.

The six-hectare site is home to an old warehouse currently rented out for trade shows.

Young said that while his team hasn’t conducted “comprehensive due diligence” on the site, Aberdeen-Longwood does present “essential sports stadium requirements” such as highway exposure (Hwy. 403), access and egress for stadium patrons, and public transit.

The expectation is that any new stadium would host soccer during the Games, with the Ticats subsequently taking over the venue.

Hamilton city councillors will meet Tuesday to consider their options, but Mayor Fred Eisenberger said Monday any plans for a new facility will include a solution worked out with the football team.

“I still believe the West Harbour site can work for everyone, but clearly if the Tiger-Cats say they won’t go (there) then we have to look at other options,” said the mayor, who added he still wants the harbour redeveloped, whether or not a stadium is built there.

It was just three weeks ago that Young and the city clashed over the stadium issue, with Young writing Eisenberger to say the team would be withdrawing from stadium negotiations and leaving the city after the club’s lease at Ivor Wynne Stadium expires in December.

Now the mayor says he’s “delighted” the Ticats are back at the table and “committing to Hamilton.”

In his letter to the mayor Monday, Young said: “I want to assure you and members of council, should it be the will of council, the Hamilton Tiger-Cat organization will engage constructively and urgently with the city to conclude a definitive Pan Am stadium agreement in a timely manner.”

He went on to say that the new stadium should bring as many events as possible to Hamilton once the Games are complete. Aside from a home for the Tiger-Cats, there should also be a new North American Soccer League club and a high-performance soccer academy, Young said.

Pan Am Games officials declined comment Monday, saying they would speak after Hamilton councillors discuss the issue Tuesday.

The provincial and federal governments were set to kick in about $30 million each for a new stadium. The Ticats had pledged more than $55 million for construction and parking spaces at the East Mountain venue, but that offer was pulled back amid the dispute.

A team spokesperson would not comment on how much money the Ticats would commit for the Aberdeen site.

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Tenders pour in for Bomber stadium

CBC News October 12, 2010

The proposed 33,000-seat domed stadium is to replace the Bombers' current home, the Canad Inns stadium at Polo Park, which needs more than $50 million in repairs.

The Winnipeg businessman behind the effort to build a new stadium for the Blue Bombers at the University of Manitoba is sifting through more than 100 tenders for the project.

David Asper told CBC News it will take about two weeks before he has decided which companies will be awarded the contracts and whether he'll be able to stay within the original budget of about $115 million dollars.

"I can't really even comment or guess on that until we've done a lot more detail. Obviously we are trying to stay at that number or even better," he said, adding, "some are higher than we expected and some are lower than expected.

"They are kind of all over the place."

Asper hopes the final cost for the stadium will be available by Oct. 27, the date of the municipal election. But he can't guarantee it.

Many residents in Fort Richmond, the area of the city where the stadium will go, have been vocal in recent weeks about their displeasure with Asper and his development company, Creswin Properties Ltd.

Creswin has said it is considering possible design changes from the original proposal to manage rising costs of building materials. Those changes could see a noise-reducing canopy and other features scrapped.

Residents are also worried about traffic congestion. Creswin officials have said parking for 5,000 vehicles would be available.

However, the stadium will have 33,000 fixed seats but will be able to accommodate 40,000 for major events like the Grey Cup.

Residents have also complained about feeling left in the dark about the project, saying they are constantly being given vague answers.

Asper said those questions will be answered as soon as possible.

"Once the competitive and confidential process is complete, it's my understanding that there will be transparency for large parts of the project, including its costs," he said.

Stadium to be ready for 2012 season

The new stadium is to replace the Bombers' current home, the Canad Inns stadium at Polo Park, which needs more than $50 million in repairs.

Creswin has partnered with the city, province, football club and university to build the new stadium, but Creswin is responsible for any cost overruns.

The new stadium is the major feature of a $137.5-million development that will include a multiplex athletic facility for the university and its Bisons sports teams.

The Bomber stadium accounts for $115 million of the cost, which includes an inflatable dome that will cover the field in winter so university teams can use it during the CFL off-season.

Officials said in May the new stadium would be ready for the Bombers by the start of the 2012 season.

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Stadium Excavation Underway

Excavation on the new community-owned stadium is underway at the University of Manitoba. Equipment is on site with work underway on the 25-foot bowl. This phase is expected to take three months to complete.

The excavation contract was awarded Friday, July 30, 2010 to S&J Construction Ltd., a Winnipeg-based excavation company that has been involved in many large Manitoba contracts including the Winnipeg International Airport, Winnipeg Mail Processing Plan, Canadian Museum of Human Rights and the MTS Ice Plex.

The new state-of-the-art stadium will feature all core amenities of critical importance to football fans. This includes 33,000 seats with enhanced legroom, a 25 foot deep bowl, an enclosed, grade-level panoramic concourse for wind protection, top quality food concessions, enhanced washroom facilities and cutting edge electronics to ensure a dynamic game-day experience.

A ‘live-eye’ webcam is now in place so you can watch all the action as it unfolds LIVE. Keep checking back for updates!

The live stadium construction webcam operates from 7:30AM to 5:00PM Monday through Friday. Watch the progress of our new community-owned stadium LIVE! Having trouble viewing the live webcam? Power at the construction site is generator powered and intermittent. We expect permanent hydro lines soon. Thanks for checking in with us.

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New BC Place roof can't close in rain

CBC News November 1, 2010


Construction continues on the $450-million renovation of BC Place, including the new retractable roof. (BC Place)

The half-a-billion dollar retractable roof on BC Place Stadium will not be able to close in the rain when it is completed next September, CBC News has learned.

Howard Crosley, the general manager of BC Place, said the operators will have to make a decision to open or close the roof based on the weather reports, but they won't necessarily be able to close it if they make the wrong call.

"The way the roof actually works, it's a gathering material that comes into the centre and because of that, if it's raining or high winds, we won't be able to open or close it," he said.

When it is finished, the roof will be the largest cable-supported retractable roof in the world and will take about 20 minutes to open and close, according to officials. But fans will stay dry no matter what because the 55,000 seats in the stadium are covered by a fixed section of the fabric roof, Crosley said.

BC Place Stadium is run by the B.C. Pavilion Corporation, which is owned by the provincial government, and overseen by the Minister of Tourism.

The $565 million renovation to the stadium will be completed in the fall of 2011, well before the Grey Cup, which Vancouver is scheduled to stage Nov. 27, officials announced Monday.

The stadium will be the home field of the CFL's BC Lions and the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer. Both teams will start their season at other locations but expect to end them at BC Place.

Both North American football and soccer are traditionally played in all weather conditions.

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^^Why is this site so vulnerable to these autobots? Can you please delete the accounts and the posts.

I hope you weren't referring to my post about Canada Games Stadium at UNBSJ?

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Nah, you missed the spammer poster. Their posts are gone and probably account suspended.


I'd hate to think news of the complete gutting and re-build of grand stand, field, concessions and track of the major stadium in a Canadian city was considered annoying.


News on the new Winnipeg Stadium not good.


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Bit better article here

Building is going to get built, pretty much as designed, and quite likely without Mr Asper's ownership model and financing scheme. Thank goodness for small blessings.

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Price tag on new Bombers stadium reaches $160M

Shelve it and hold referendum: Taxpayers Federation

Kevin Engstrom, QMI Agency


Winnipeg businessman David Asper holds an image of the football stadium now being built at The University of Manitoba. The price for the new football stadium has spiked to $160 million.(QMI AGENCY)

Taxpayers are going to be asked to dig deeper to build David Asper’s dream stadium for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. A lot deeper.

The price for the new football stadium, to be located at the University of Manitoba, has spiked to $160 million from $115 million, according to published reports. That number is believed to include all the features of the original 33,000-seat design, including the noise-reducing canopy, which was thought to potentially be on the chopping block once a dispute began over who would pay for the cost overruns.

The number was reportedly disclosed in a meeting Creswin held with various government officials on Wednesday to go over the stadium’s updated budget for the first time since tenders came in on the project.

Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation was astounded at the stadium’s new price tag, which would presumably see the various levels of government cover the $45-million shortfall. He said Creswin’s plan should be scrapped.

“The project is now 40% over budget and the private partner is balking at covering the cost overruns,” said Craig. “If that isn’t reason enough to go back to the drawing board, I don’t know what is.”

Craig said the best solution might be to pay $14 million in needed structural repairs to the current site, then hold a Manitoba-wide referendum on how much funding residents are willing to spend for a new stadium. Once that number is known, government officials can approach the private sector to see what they can offer.

Creswin’s deal to build the stadium has been controversial from the start, with the province agreeing to loan Creswin $90 million for its construction. The company would then conceivably repay the money with profits gained from a proposed development at the team’s current Polo Park site. Asper, who initially vowed to cover any cost overruns before backtracking, would own the franchise if and when the debt was repaid.

City council approved the stadium deal in the spring. But with the deal’s cost drastically rising, the new council will almost definitely have to vote on the deal again.

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Selinger: scaled down stadium not wanted

Paul Turenne, QMI Agency

Premier Greg Selinger said Friday that scaling down the design of a new football stadium in order to save money is not something he wants to see done.

"People have been very clear they want a good quality stadium. It's a 50-year decision and we want to get it right," Selinger said.

The premier was responding to news that, now that all the tenders are in, the new stadium in the works at the University of Manitoba could cost upwards of $160 million, compared with an original estimate of $115 million.

Selinger said he has not had a hard number put in front of him on paper, but confirmed that "what I've heard is $160 million or higher."

He said he expects to sit down with the project's other stakeholders — the U of M, the city, the Blue Bombers, and developer David Asper and his Creswin group — in the next four to five days to discuss what to do about the need to finance another $45 million or more to complete the stadium.

"We're looking forward to the ideas coming forward from the Bombers and Creswin and Asper, and we'll see what we can do," Selinger said. "It's not totally unexpected but I'm looking forward to seeing what the final numbers are and the proposals to address them. One thing we do know is there's a great desire to have a new stadium."

Selinger said he'd prefer to have any additional provincial money for the project coming from new revenue streams rather than the existing provincial budget, but reiterated that no proposals have yet been put to him asking for any more money or anything else.

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Tiger-Cats want stadium with hotel

Including conference centre, public square

Wade Hemsworth and John Kernaghan Nov 10 2010

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are hoping to build a hotel, conference centre, some townhouses and a sports-entertainment complex to go with the city’s Pan Am stadium, making it a destination that will attract community users year round.


The team’s president Scott Mitchell and its land-use planning consultant Don May are to update the community Wednesday on their side of plans for the proposed stadium district at Longwood Road and Aberdeen Avenue.

The funding and specifics for the stadium itself have yet to be finalized, with organizers of the Pan Am Games having set Feb. 1 as the final deadline for a proposal.

The city and the team are working on a co-operative stadium package that has already seen the team commit $8 to $10 million, the city put in $45 million and the provincial and the federal governments split a $57 million contribution, for a total of $110 to $112 million — as much as $53 million less than some consider the actual cost.

The province has indicated it may increase its commitment, but by how much is not yet clear.

The city councillor for the area is doubtful enough public money will materialize to complete the stadium, while the team is proceeding on the basis that it will.

May, a veteran planner involved with major public and private projects and the past president of Parks and Recreation Ontario, is working with city staff to co-ordinate the stadium and its surrounding buildings in a village-style arrangement, including connections between existing trails and railway beds now in use at the site, which today is a CP marshalling yard.

May said a partnership between the community, public and private partners can produce a positive outcome for all sides, especially with broad public consultation.

The Tiger-Cats would develop the hotel, conference centre and other structures with private partners. The hotel and conference centre would be targeted to co-ordinate with McMaster Innovation Park on the other side of Aberdeen Avenue.

May said the hotel would feature about 150 rooms in a structure up to eight storeys tall, with the possibility of twinning the tower in the future.

The plan would include sports-themed restaurants and a public square that leads onto the stadium itself, which would be situated at the west side of the site, close to Hwy. 403.

May said a possible block of townhouses would be designed to attract young buyers, helping to keep them in the city.

Brian McHattie, the city councillor whose Ward 1 includes the site, remains skeptical enough money to build the anchor for the project — the stadium itself — will materialize.

He said the football club’s announcement would have little significance until the funding gap for the stadium was resolved.

“The key now is if the province will come up with an extraordinary amount of money,” he said. “My intelligence tells me they may cap their additional contribution to around $20 million for the stadium.”

May said the province’s encouragement of the city and the team to complete their proposal indicates there is a good chance sufficient money will be available.

McHattie said national politics was a serious roadblock to coaxing more money out of Ottawa despite Hamilton hiring lobbyists to plead the city’s case.

He pointed out that Quebec City’s bid for federal money for a hockey arena was turned down, meaning politicians there would be watching closely for any extra money flowing to a stadium project here.

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