One Good Stadium Story Deserves Another
Published on July 3, 2012 6:14 PM by dbo.
Stadium stories continue to fill the news, including these from the past few weeks. Developments in Hamilton and Winnipeg are categorized as failures, mistakes or what have you and linked to Toronto’s stadium woes for the the CFL. How can an infrastructure revitalization not seen since the post war boom be considered anything but positive, even if it is slower than desired?
The Friends of Lansdowne Park announced their decision to not appeal, though they are still against the project, but not football. If the Friends had donated $300,000 to a stadium project on the LRT line, that might have swayed some interest, but where ever it was to be, it was going to cost taxpayer money, and a lot more at a new location.
Of course the new developments require another requisite timeline of the park. But progress is now visible, with discussion on the details like the art plan, reducing the amount borrowed for the project, a transportation plan and the canal footbridge.
The Saskatchewan government responded to the city’s request for funding the stadium with a pledge of $80 million for a “roof-ready” stadium. The province also offered to provide a loan to finance the other part of the project. Mayor Fiacco believes the rest of the funding for the $278 million project will fall into place by end of July. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have not committed a solid number to the current project, though they spoke of a $20 million commitment for previous attempts at a new stadium. They may have to increase their contribution, much like the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, for a stadium they will largely be the benefactors of.
After McMaster rejected the Tiger-Cats from playing any games at Ron Joyce Stadium in 2013, the speculation as to where the team will play started. London, Guelph and of course, Moncton are the three most common targets mentioned. The temporary seating required at any location will likely mean one location will be preferred over many to reduce costs (even if the same seating is rented, assembly and disassembly costs money). Some saw McMaster decision as hard bargaining and others thought there is room to negotiate with McMaster still, but there seems little hope on that horizon from our viewpoint.
After the announcement that Investors Group Field would not open until 2013, Paul Friesen backs up his “I told you so” with some salient points about the whole situation.
Prior to the decision to stay at Canad Inns Stadium for all of 2012, another public relations nightmare erupted over the banning of noisemakers. The Bombers clarified and backtracked on their decision. Many fans threatened to cancel their tickets. A full list of banned items is found on bluebombers.com.
In Toronto, the Argonauts want their fans to be loud, with noisemakers or without, in contrast to the other professional sports in the city.