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This article was published 24/9/2010 (3882 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
ONE of the first things Premier Greg Selinger did shortly after an 11-day trade mission to China and the Philippines was ask what's up with the new football stadium.
He returned to the city late Wednesday and was briefed Thursday on the stadium's status, the worry being higher-than-anticipated construction costs might sacrifice some of the building's amenities like a canopy that would cover most of the stands.
Selinger said bids are still being studied and it won't be known until sometime next month what the price tag is for the stadium project.
"All the tender information has not come in," Selinger said Friday. "When the numbers come in they will be looked at. The final, total price will be examined and then we'll proceed to address any arising issues that come out of that final tally."
It was hoped developer David Asper would have that final number, and a final design for the building, by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, excavation work continues at the University of Manitoba on the new home for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
"The trick is to keep it moving and to address any of the concerns and to find practical solutions that will allow us to build a good quality stadium," Selinger said.
Since July, all of the partners involved in the construction of the city's new Canadian Football League facility--Asper's Creswin, the city, province, the U of M and the Winnipeg Football Club--have been wrestling with question of cost overruns. The stadium's cost was originally pegged at $115 million.
According to a memorandum of understanding signed earlier this year, Creswin is responsible for those overruns. But over the summer, the developer floated the idea of an altered stadium design that might not include a canopy because projected costs are rising.
Selinger said it's too early to talk about "maybes."
"The final tenders are still coming in," Selinger said. "There were some extensions to get more information and more people bidding on it, but the bottom line is they're still in the process of compiling all the final numbers."
If there is a new or scaled-back design, Mayor Sam Katz has said the project will have to go before council for another vote. The last council meeting before Oct. 27 election was on Wednesday. If approval from city hall is needed it now won't happen until December when the new council meets.
Katz has also said he would consider calling a special meeting of council before the election if the costs are released before voting day.
The original stadium deal called for the construction the 30,000-seat stadium at the northwest corner of Chancellor Matheson Road and University Crescent with the help of a $90-million provincial loan, a $15-million provincial grant and $10 million in cash or services from Creswin. The deal also called for the construction of $22.5 million worth of recreational improvements at the University of Manitoba with the help of $15 million from Ottawa, $5 million from Manitoba and $2.5 million from the City of Winnipeg.
Some politicians are whispering about the possibility of 100 per cent public funding, while Katz has floated the notion of raising money for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a share offering that would make the team truly community-owned.
-- With files from Bart Kives