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.

Just Posted

Noisy train whistles to stay at Harrison Mills rail crossing

A majority of residents didn’t want to pay for part of the $390K replacement crossing

HOMEGROWN: Family traditions key to Agassiz dairy farm

Julaine and Johannes Treur are keeping family traditions alive at their organic dairy farm

Vancouver TheatreSports finishes off Harrison’s Season of Performing Arts

Vancovuer TheatreSports will be performing in Harrison on May 4

Job market to remain tight in coming years: report

Conference Board of Canada predicts region’s unemployment rate to remain below five per cent

Chilliwack driver busted with heroin after nodding off behind the wheel

29-year-old man from Vancouver facing possible charges

Harrison Mills band holding contest to decide name

The local cover band will be announcing the winner at a concert on May 3

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR

RCMP believe the foreign national is part of a larger organized theft group

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver for rider complaints

TransLink releases list, with Route 319 at the top

Mayors, First Nations chiefs, urge ‘immediate action’ on new Massey crossing

Joint letter asks province to move up timeline, consider only eight-lane tunnel options

Bus driver assault in Vancouver once again raises safety concerns

A 49-year-old Surrey man was released on a promise to appear in court. No charge has been laid

Most Read