Published on November 2, 2010 10:21 PM by dbo.
After some hectic months covering the stadium debates, first in Ottawa, then in Hamilton, I took some time off in October to allow things to percolate. I wanted to get away from being immersed in the Hamilton situation, allow it to progress to a conclusion and I also did not have the time to write about it.
Now, with municipal elections complete it is time to provide an update on those situations and other locations across the country.
The site design process for Lansdowne Park has been continuing in Ottawa. Despite that, another proposal for a Lansdowne Park Conservancy was brought forward.
The plan is still evolving and getting better, though some controversial aspects remain. It is on schedule to be presented and voted on by council Nov. 24 before the change over of councillors and mayor from the Oct. 25th municipal election.
When we left Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats had committed to the Longwood Road site. The city was moving forward with three possibilities for their stadium commitment. Another extended deadline by the Pan-Am HostCo to Feb. 1, 2011 took the decision off the stadium off the current council. The accounting of the Longwood site showed a $54 million funding gap.
The Hamilton municipal election saw a change in the mayor and a councillor to so-called Tiger-Cat friendly faces. Incoming mayor Bob Bratina has suggested the city should re-examine the Confederation Park site for the stadium site. Pan-Am officials have indicated there is not enough time to look at other sites.
Recent developments on the upgrade to BC Place Stadium had the CBC pick up on the retractable roof not being operational in rain or heavy winds. While not ideal, it is understandable given the design and certainly not a major flaw the report makes it out to be.
The BC Pavillion Corporation did announce the upgrade will be ready for the 2011 Grey Cup and no events will occur until the upgrade is complete. This leaves the possibility for the Lions to play some 2011 games outside of BC Place, presumably at the temporary Empire Field facility. Lions owner David Braley reveals some interesting information on the move to Empire in 2010 and his dedication to the Lions. Information on the 2011 Grey Cup festival was also announced.
In Winnipeg the debate continues over the cost of the stadium and what might be cut from the final design. Those discussions may still be stalled, with no real revelation of the final costs and plans until a council vote Dec. 15, despite calls for a full public accounting of the construction costs.
Provincial leaders in Saskatchewan are still waiting for a response for funding from the federal government on their stadium plan. A local columnist questions the lack of true numbers for the stadium one week and wonders aloud whether Stephen Harper’s lack of a cheque is a yes or no to funding their stadium the next. I am certain there will be much more debate, opposition and fighting for funding before the grandiose plan is executed.