CITY councillors are clamouring for more information about the City of Winnipeg's role in a $115-million deal to build a new home for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

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An artist's rendition of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers proposed stadium.

FREE PRESS ARCHIVES

An artist's rendition of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers proposed stadium.

CITY councillors are clamouring for more information about the City of Winnipeg's role in a $115-million deal to build a new home for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

At least four city councillors have asked Mayor Sam Katz to hold a closed-door briefing about the stadium deal, which will see the city and province forgo future tax revenues from the redevelopment of the Canad Inns Stadium site if David Asper's Creswin Properties fails to pay off its share of a loan to the Winnipeg Football Club.

The stadium-building deal announced last week will see the Selinger government give the Canadian Football League a $90-million loan to build the stadium. Under the terms of the deal, the football club must pay back $15 million of the loan within five years of the stadium's opening, while Creswin must cover off the remaining $75 million by March 2016.

If Creswin fails, the city and province will use property taxes that will flow from new commercial activity on what's now the Canad Inns Stadium site to pay back the $75-million loan.

"We don't have anything on paper," said council speaker Harry Lazarenko (Mynarski), complaining that all councillors must be consulted about a deal that could see the city give up future property taxes.

Couns. Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre), Russ Wyatt (Transcona) and Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge) also complained they don't have enough information to discern whether or not they support it.

"The only thing I've seen is what I've been reading in the newspapers," said Wyatt, complaining that councillors who do not sit on executive policy committee have been left in the dark. "The devil is going to be in the details."

But even EPC councillors say they have yet to see those details. "I think this thing was cooked up mostly on Broadway. They're leading the charge on this one," said property chairman Gord Steeves (St. Vital). "I don't think it's a great deal all around, but from a municipal perspective, it's hard to argue with it."

-- With files from Bruce Owen

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