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This article was published 20/9/2010 (4303 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Discussions about the final design for Winnipeg's new football stadium likely won't take place until October - and a city council debate about any new plan would not happen until December.
Since July, all of the partners involved in the construction of the city's new Canadian Football League facility - Creswin, the city, province, the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Football Club - have been wrestling with question of cost overruns at a 30,000-seat stadium 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 notion of an altered stadium design that might not include a canopy because projected costs are rising.
Mayor Sam Katz has pledged to bring any amended stadium plan back before council, while area councillor Justin Swandel (St. Norbert) was the first to vow to vote against any building without a canopy to cover most of the stands.
More discussions were expected to take place this month. But officials at Creswin and the province now say those discussions won't take place until October, after it has the chance to review the results of construction tender packages sent out to prospective bidders.
"We expect that virtually all of the tender bids will be received some time around the end of the month," Creswin chairman David Asper said Monday in an email.
That means the final stadium cost can not be determined until the beginning of October. A spokeswoman for the Selinger government confirmed that timeline is accurate.
But since the final city council meeting of the current term takes place Wednesday, council will not have the opportunity to vote on an amended deal until after the civic election. The next regularly scheduled council meeting of the year takes place on Dec. 15.
Standing outside his office on Monday, Katz told reporters he would have liked to see the final stadium numbers before tomorrow's vote.
"It would have been nice for this to come back to council" before the election, he said. A special meeting of council before Dec. 15 is possible, he added.
The mayor said it would be an exaggeration to suggest the stadium project is in jeopardy. He also said it was premature soon to discuss means of financing the facility if governments and Creswin do not see eye to eye this fall.
Some politicians are whispering about the possibility of 100 per cent public funding, while the mayor has floated the notion of raising money for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a share offering that would make the team truly community-owned.
Right now, construction on the stadium is proceeding as planned, Asper said.
Earlier this year, the stadium deal called for the construction of a $115-million football 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.
The deal also required Creswin to pay back $75 million of the provincial loan and the Winnipeg Football Club to contribute the remaining $15 million. This would be possible through the sale of city-owned existing stadium site at Polo Park to Creswin, which would then build a retail project called The Elms at that land.
If Creswin does not pay back the loan, Asper not assume control of the Winnipeg Football Club. The province's $90 million will be recouped from city and provincial property taxes flowing from new developments at the existing stadium site, which currently does not generate tax revenue.