New CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg, Thursday, May 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Halifax council to discuss proposed stadium for potential new CFL team

Halifax regional council will consider a proposed 24,000-seat stadium, the pivotal component of a bid to land a Canadian Football League team for the East Coast’s largest city

Halifax council will consider today a new report on a proposed 24,000-seat stadium, the pivotal component of a bid to land a Canadian Football League team for the East Coast’s largest city.

Maritime Football Limited Partnership, a group that includes business executives and former owners of an NHL team, is in the final stages of securing a conditional CFL expansion franchise.

The group has proposed Shannon Park, a 38-hectare swath of land on the east side of Halifax harbour formerly used by the Department of Defence for housing, as the preferred location for the multi-purpose stadium.

An urban planning expert says the discussion is bound to be polarizing for the community, with costly stadium projects often generating vigorous public debate.

Maritime Football is in talks with Canada Lands Company to buy up to eight hectares of land for the stadium, a parking structure and “associated uses,” the staff report says.

The new football team would be the anchor tenant of the stadium, which comes with an estimated price tag of up to $190 million.

However, some of that cost is expected to be covered by public dollars, with the city staff report calling the province’s participation as a funding partner “essential.”

The report recommends a thorough review of Maritime Football’s business case, as well as changes to the city’s charter to potentially allow for a special tax arrangement and assist with debt financing of the project, pending the outcome of the business case analysis.

The report also recommends engaging with the province on “new and incremental sources of revenue,” such as increasing the hotel marketing levy or creating a new car rental tax.

Related: Tributes aside, retiring BC Lions’ coach focused on ‘winning the next game’

Related: A look at the Canadian Football League at the halfway mark

Jino Distasio, director of the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg, says large projects like stadiums are often polarizing.

“They draw a tremendous amount of public interest and often that interest can be polarizing with either very big supporters or those who are vehemently against any kind of public dollars flowing into what’s seen as the pockets of rich and wealthy owners,” he said.

“It’s not uncommon to have a vigorous debate.”

He pointed to controversy in Winnipeg over the Investors Group Field stadium. Earlier this year, the University of Manitoba said it will likely not recover more than $100 million owed from a loan to build the project, leaving the province to cover the shortfall.

“The outcome here is still mixed,” Distasio said of Winnipeg’s stadium. ”I think the vast majority of people still appreciate that we have a wonderful new stadium but it has come with a price tag that we weren’t necessarily prepared for from the beginning.”

He added: “Careful financial planning and oversight is absolutely critical.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kimberley Underground Mining Railway reports success despite social distancing

The Kimberley Underground Mining Railway is one of Kimberley’s attractions that is… Continue reading

Eight-time Canadian long drive champion Lisa ‘Longball’ Vlooswyk plays Trickle Creek

Calgary’s Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk, the eight-time women’s Canadian Long Drive National Champion… Continue reading

Kimberley Splash Park reopens this Friday

Kimberley kids will be delighted to hear that the Rotary Splash Park… Continue reading

Cranbrook Pride society organizes different kind of event this year due to COVID-19

The Cranbrook Pride Society had to be creative in planning this year’s… Continue reading

The Tumbleweeds perform at live and socially distant concert in Kimberley

On Friday, the Kimberley Golf Club hosted a wonderful event. For $30,… Continue reading

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Canadians do not want US border reopened

There was a minor hullabaloo, and an impressive Twitter ratio, late last… Continue reading

Commercial huckleberry harvesting restricted in Kootenays

The province of B.C. has banned commercial-scale picking from July 15 to October 15

Most Read