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This article was published 17/11/2010 (3551 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Winnipeg Football Club is ready for a handoff that will see them take control of building a new CFL stadium -- a project that was to be handled by developer David Asper.
Details of the football club's role and Asper's involvement are still being finalized as all sides in the project appear to have shied away from a deal that would have seen projected cost overruns covered and $90 million in provincial financing paid back by Asper and the Bombers by 2016.
Premier Greg Selinger said Wednesday officials are now looking at a "Plan B" that would see the redevelopment of the Canad Inns Stadium site by investors other than Asper. Property tax revenue from the redeveloped site would go toward paying for the construction of the new stadium.
"The original conception of the arrangement was for the private partner, contingent upon them wanting to own the team, to be a major financial contributor," Selinger said during question period.
"There is also a Plan B option structured into the original agreement. The Plan B option allowed for the existing site where the stadium exists, which yields no tax revenue, to be opened up for redevelopment and private investment will go into that site which will generate revenues to help pay for the stadium.
"That was always an option under the original arrangements. That option is being considered along with a larger role for the Bombers and people are working together to find a go-forward strategy on the stadium."
Selinger was being grilled by Progressive Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen on specifics for the new stadium -- especially on how much it will cost taxpayers and what role Asper's Creswin Properties will play.
"The original conception of the arrangements was for a Plan A led by the private sector in the hands of Creswin Realty," Selinger replied. "The Option B was available for private reinvestment at Polo Park. It didn't specify who had to do the private reinvestment at Polo Park. It simply indicated redevelopment at Polo Park could generate revenues... that would help finance the stadium."
Outside the house, Selinger said he didn't want to comment on the expanded role of the Blue Bombers.
"The Blue Bombers want to play a role in providing a business case for continuing to have the stadium built as we're moving forward on it right now," Selinger said. "The specifics of that will be announced by them."
What exactly the new deal means for Asper and his own plans to redevelop Polo Park are unclear.
Also on Wednesday, those involved in building the stadium were slated to discuss the issue of compensating Creswin for work conducted on the project. The company is said to be seeking more than $5 million for design, consultation and other work, but some sources peg Creswin's contribution at less than $2 million.
Mayor Sam Katz told reporters he is not part of the discussion, but suggested Creswin should be compensated for legitimate expenses such as architectural designs should the company choose to bow out of the project.
"If there were monies that were expended for architectural fees, that's pretty valid. There are some (stadium expenditures) that would be black and white. Others, people are looking at," Katz said.
The mayor repeated his desire to see a deal concluded as soon as possible.
McFadyen said the public needs clear answers on what the stadium will look like, how much it's going to cost and who is going to pay for it.
"We want all of that information released publicly," he said. "At that point, I think everybody in Manitoba, including the opposition, can have a reasoned debate about the best way to move forward."
-- With files from Larry Kusch
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