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Stadium dispute resolved, final price tag $210 million

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A dispute over who was responsible for covering the cost of repairs and changes at Investors Group Field has been resolved, putting the final cost of the controversial football-stadium project at $210 million.

BBB Stadium Inc., the non-profit organization that built the 33,500-seat venue on the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus, said in a statement released Thursday it has reached an agreement with the stadium's builder, Stuart Olson Dominion Construction "on the financial closeout related to the outstanding costs of construction at Investors Group Field."

It said the provincial government will kick in another $1.5 million to cover the cost of additional improvements not included in the original design, including changes to the commissary and concession areas and to the sidewalk and street at the front of the facility.

The additional $1.5 million boosts the final cost of the project to $210 million, it added.

The province is one of four stakeholders in BBB Stadium. The others are the city, the U of M and the Winnipeg Football Club.

The statement said spring-melt damage to some of the stadium's luxury boxes and the visitors' dressing room also have been fully repaired at a cost of about $450,000. Those costs are covered by insurance, although BBB Stadium said it will have to pay the $50,000 deductible stipulated in the insurance policy.

As for the cause of the recent water leaks, the organization said the insurance company is looking into that and will be preparing a report. In the meantime, it said it has been working closely over the last month with Stuart Olson and the stadium's designer to implement additional drainage improvements to prevent that type of leakage in the future.

The organization did not elaborate on the nature of the drainage improvements, and spokesmen for Stuart Olson and BBB Stadium could not be reached Thursday for comment.

The dispute between BBB Stadium and Stuart Olson centred on who was responsible for covering the cost of repairs and deficiencies that had to be undertaken after the stadium opened last spring. Some of the earlier changes included replacing handrails that weren't up to code, punching holes in concrete to allow concertgoers access to the playing surface and installing missing insulation and fireproofing crawl spaces.

In March, the province also announced an additional $8.5 million in funding for the project, saying it was for upgrades to host the Grey Cup and other cold-season events.

Thursday's statement said with the latest repairs now completed, the stadium is ready to host its first event of the 2014 season -- a friendly next Thursday between the Canadian and U.S. national women's soccer teams.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 2, 2014 A6

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