I haven't heard anything in months. Is there any news on the Winnipeg Stadium or is this deal dead.
Bombers' new stadium, on the current site of the Winnipeg Convention Centre.
By TOM BRODBECK[url=http://www.winnipegsun.com/News/Winnipeg/2008/04/01/5160486-sun.html]http://www.winnipegsun.com/News/Winnipe ... 6-sun.html[/url]
[i]Winnipeg could be home to a new domed, downtown football stadium -- replacing the current Convention Centre -- if a bold plan by a group of well-heeled private investors gets its way, the Winnipeg Sun has learned.
And it appears all three levels of government are on board with the plan.
The private consortium, which does not include CanWest Global executive David Asper, is proposing a $400-million stadium that would also act as the city's main convention centre and multiplex, hosting everything from trade shows and conventions to soccer matches and Winnipeg Blue Bombers football games.
"This is one of the most exciting proposals for downtown Winnipeg in years," said a source close to the negotiations. "And it solves the problem of what to do with Canad Inns Stadium."
The all-season, covered facility is expected to hold as many as 50,000 people but can be reconfigured to meet the demands of smaller events.
The proposal includes tearing down the existing Winnipeg Convention Centre, which requires upgrades and would otherwise need to be expanded to compete with convention centres in other cities, such as Regina.
"We need a football stadium and we need a bigger convention centre," said the source. "Why not combine the two and capitalize on the synergies that are available?"
Sources say the facility would be cost-shared 50/50 between the private consortium and the three levels of government. The stadium would be publicly-owned but run by a private corporation, much like BMO Field in Toronto, home to that city's Major League Soccer team, Toronto FC.
It's unclear what would happen with the ownership of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, currently a community-owned team.
Under Asper's proposal to build a seasonal stadium at the Canad Inns site, the team would become privately owned. Sources say that part of the domed stadium deal is still in negotiations.
However, one of the options they're considering is giving the private corporation a certain number of seats on the Blue Bombers board, which is now a self-appointing body.
"What we can say is that all three levels of government are at the table," said the source. "We have tremendous co-operation on this one and real enthusiasm, because it's an intelligent and very doable plan."
The difference between a proposed domed stadium and Asper's stadium plan is that a covered facility would bring in substantially more trade shows and other events that currently bypass Winnipeg.
That means new business for the city and a new source of tax revenue for all three levels of government, including city hall, which recently approved a 5% hotel tax.
"The city and the province will get a payoff every time a major trade show comes to Winnipeg that otherwise would not have come here," said the source.
Asper's idea of erecting an inflatable dome on the field for amateur sporting events during the winter months would be too small for major trade shows and large conventions.
Meanwhile, other cities are expanding their convention centres to accommodate larger trade shows and other events the current Convention Centre can't handle.
If Winnipeg fails to keep up, industry analysts say the city could lose millions in economic development opportunities.
The private consortium could make an official announcement on the proposed domed football stadium as early as next week, except for the fact that we just got ya again -- hook, line and sinker. April Fool's![/i]
You know what? I don't care if it's technically April 2. I thought this article was great, had to share
Ok Ok, seriously tho:
Bombers Deal is Nearly Done
Franchise will soon be a private business, Asper says
Scott Taylor, National Post
Published: Monday, February 25, 2008
[i]WINNIPEG -David Asper can now see the light at the end of a 14-month-long tunnel, a light that will result in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers ending 75 years of community ownership.
“Yes, I will soon take over sole ownership of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers,” Asper said late last week. “But I say ‘yes’ as part of the overall proposal for a new stadium. I believe now, that in due course, there will be a new stadium.”
It is somewhat of a bold position for Asper, the chairman of the Nation-al Post and executive vice-president of Canwest Communications, and a man who first presented his plan to privatize the CFL franchise and build a brand new 40,000-seat stadium, back in early January of 2007.
For months, through an often difficult negotiation with the city and provincial and federal governments, Asper was hesitant to answer in the affirmative when asked if he believed he was ever going to take over the team he has cheered for since childhood.
Last Thursday, however, during a lengthy interview in Winnipeg, he admitted that the deal is almost done. “Soon,” he said, "the community-owned Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be privately owned and a new stadium will be under construction.
“Over the past year, me, members of my team, Lyle Bauer and the members of the Blue Bomber board of directors, have made a compelling case that, as a matter of public policy, there is an issue here that must be addressed,” Asper said of the 53-year-old Canad Inns Stadium.
"I now believe that after months of negotiation and discussion at various levels, that intelligent people will get this done.
“All three levels of government are willing to make the commitment and are looking at how this project will come together. Where there is a will, there is a way. Over the period of time we’ve been making our position known, there has grown a better understanding that [a new stadium] is a benefit to the community ? that it’s not just a benefit to the football club but to the entire community.”
Asper plans to spend $65-million of his own money, with an additional $80-million in public funds, to build a state-of-the-art 40,000-seat football stadium, plus a retail mall in which all profits will go to the football club in order to guarantee the team’s long-term future in the community. (The entire project can be viewed at http:// www.blueandgold.ca/)
The one sticking point is government commitment. The federal and provincial levels have promised no more than $30-million each. Asper wanted them to match the $40-million he plans put into the $120-million stadium plan.
“We will still try to make the case for the original $120-million concept,” Asper said. "I guess there is always a chance that the project could end up being smaller, more modest, than the original plan. But I will try to make the argument that it’s worth working toward the original design. Historically, this is a 50-year project. We build it, it has to stand for 50 years.
“I guess, when we have all the cards on the table, we’ll see what the money will get us.”
One thing seems certain – the Bombers will soon lose their “community-owned” designation and become a private business. Although there could be more community involvement than there was with the old community ownership.
In Asper’s original plan, the public will actually own the stadium; the University of Manitoba football program will be a major beneficiary of the project; amateur sports organizations will be given free use of the building as a training facility during the winter months; and the public will have access to the team’s state-of-the-science training and medical facilities.
For Winnipeg, that could be the best news of firstname.lastname@example.org[/i]
Hahaha plenty of conflicting reports:
Report: New stadium in Winnipeg on hold
3/29/2008 2:42:48 PM
Winnipeg's dream of a new stadium will apparently not come to fruition in time for the 2009 season.[/i]http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/news_story/?ID=233098&hubname
[i]According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Canwest executive vice-president David Asper was hoping to begin construction this month but has experienced some roadblocks. When asked if the stadium could be ready for the 2009 campaign, Asper said he couldn't see it.
Asper would like to take over ownership of the team and build a new stadium but negotiations with various levels of government have proven to be slower than expected.
"On the one hand, I understand there's a process," Asper told the Free Press. "On the other hand, it's very frustrating."
Along with the delays, the cost of the stadium/retail project has risen by about $20 million, from an original price tag of $145 million to a total closing in on $165 million. Asper is looking for $40 million from both the federal and provincial governments to help fund the new stadium.
Winnipeg Construction Association head Ron Hambley does not agree with Asper's claim that the delay has added $20 million to the cost of the project. With the rate of inflation at about 8% last year, Hambley feels the additional total would be closer to $11 million.
The timing and funding issues have led Asper to rethink the location of the new stadium as well as entertain ways to cut costs during the construction while ensuring the quality of the facility.
Treasury Board President Vic Toews denied the suggestion that government had played a role in slowing the stadium process over the funding deal.
"I haven't missed any deadlines yet," Toews told the Free Press. "I can only work on the taxpayers' deadline."[/i]
I am confused. I thought it was already set to build the new stadium out near the racetrack?? I thought it was just down to dotting the i's and crossing the t's.
Interesting reads here guys.
I think it will get done, but 2010 at the earliest and perhaps maybe not until later. Although I've gotta say, why does that Convention Centre plan sound so much better than Aspers?! Damn April Fools...
Do u have a link?
I think perhaps he was talking about Ledohowskis first bid to have it built at Assiniboia Downs. Although I'm close to there and I would like it and parking would be awesome for once, but unfortunately its a little more of a drive for many winnipeggers who live on the east side of the city. I wish Ledohowski made his stadium plans at the current site like Aspers and maybe it would have made this more interesting and prone to get done.
The stadium plans at Assiniboia Downs AKA Exhibition Park where nothing more but a study and a drawing. No actual plans to ever build that stadium ever happened.
Later on Canada Inns made another proposal to the City at the Former Canada Packers land. That one got beat out by Aspers plan.
There was also an American group that also had a proposal but they also lost out to Aspers group.
those pans were outbid by aspers design.
New stadium key to fixing money woes, Bombers say
Lost $263,877 In 2007; Five sellouts, trip to Grey Cup do not equal profit
Scott Taylor, National Post
Published: Friday, April 11, 2008
[i]WINNIPEG - Winning the Canadian Football League's Eastern Conference championship did not do much for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' bottom line.
Despite five regular-season sellouts, a trip to the Grey Cup and the accumulation of more revenue than in any other year in the franchise's history, the club reported a loss on operations in 2007 of $263,877.
President and CEO Lyle Bauer says the loss shows the urgent need for a new stadium in Winnipeg.
"It's clear to us that the club needs to change its business model," Bauer said. "And at the root of that change is a new stadium. The stadium we're in now is more than 50 years old and as we see it, the only way to secure the franchise's financial well-being ? is a new stadium."
A proposal from National Post chairman David Asper to build a new 40,000-seat, $120-million stadium along with a $25-million retail mall has been on the table since January 2007.
The Bombers board has agreed to the plan, but it has stalled at the provincial and federal government level. Asper has agreed to put up $65-million on the stadium and retail centre and has asked the both governments to kick in $40-million each.
Representatives of both levels of government have said publicly that they were prepared to support the plan, but neither has committed to the contribution that Asper and the football club say they require.
Meanwhile, for the first time in the team's history, the club topped $13-million in revenues. But operating costs and players salaries also rose. Two other one-time windfalls earned in 2006 -- $2.3-million from staging the 2006 Grey Cup and a $700,000 payment from the league for switching divisions in 2006 after the demise of the Ottawa Renegades --disappeared, leaving the team in the red overall.
Bauer said that it was not a disastrous amount of money to lose, but it was a frightening trend. If the franchise can't turn a profit, "with five sellouts and a great product on the field," what will happen in the lean years?[/i]
You guys all know that the domed Convention center/stadium was an april fools joke right
I find it pathetic that the blue bombers could have sold out so many games and still lose money.
As I said, this new stadium is a gift horse and the politicians should get their act together.