Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

One damp thing

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The Blue Bombers organization is being decidedly closed-mouthed about water leaks at the stadium and damage to the interior of Investors Group Field, a two-year-old amenity built almost entirely with public cash. The secrecy is untenable. It fuels rising public concern about the quality of a stadium, which parties involved continue to boast was constructed for a fraction of the price of others now planned in CFL cities.

Under media pressure, the Blue Bombers disclosed only that luxury suites and a dressing room have been damaged, describing it as both minor and "an ongoing issue" since the finally stadium opened last June. It has refused to allow media in or to describe the extent of the damage, said by some to be significant.

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The $208-million stadium has been dogged by numerous deficiencies, disputes among parties involved in its construction, claims of inadequate planning -- no public access to the field and a press box open to the elements -- and construction oversight.

The public is represented by the city and province on the management board BBB Stadium Inc., yet taxpayers have been consistently thwarted in getting straight answers on these issues even as the province continues to pour in more money.

Mayor Sam Katz on Wednesday decried the secrecy and poor planning. He should press for full public disclosure of the flaws, planned fixes and the cost involved.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 10, 2014 A10

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