Can't Anybody In This Country Build A Stadium?

How is it they can spend 1.7 billion for a new Wembley Stadium in England. In the USA cities the size of Woodstock, Ontario have 60,000 seat stadiums.

Yet up here we have CFL teams that are playing in these 50 year old bandboxes, with no prospect for a new stadium in sight?

I find it strange why it is so hard to scrape up some cash to build a stadium? Especially with the benefits it brings in the future?

The CFL needs to freshen things up, and nice new stadiums in a few of these towns like REgina, Hamilton and Winnipeg, and maybe even the odd dome, would do wonders for the leagues image. Even a few potential CFL cities should build a bloody stadium

But something has to be done. Because if they don't spend money for stadiums, in 25 years you're gonna have teams with no stadiums. Becuase they'll be condemned!

The biggest reason why you don't see stadiums built in Canada, in my opinion, is because cities have fewer sources of tax revenue than do cities in the U.S. Cities here rely mostly on property tax, and have to lobby provincial governments for other money. Cities in the U.S. have more independence. It is tougher to get the provincial or federal governments to invest in stadiums or arenas because they might feel if they give to one, they give to many, and they want the money to use for their own agendas.

Ask the Canadian public if they want money spent on a football stadium, or a hospital.

Guess which one wins, 100% of the time?

The public doesn't want public money spent on stadiums. Therefore, we aren't seeing new stadiums. Thats democracy in action.

That’s always the old either/or arguement trotted out by well meaning social groups. “We can have stadiums or we can have hospitals.Pick one!” The reality is we often end up with neither!

Here in Vancouver there’s a depressing debate. The Whitecaps soccer team (and I hate soccer!)wants to build a gorgeous waterfront stadium in Gastown. Private money.A bunch of moralists (who ironically often use violence and vandalism) say this is will bring a bad element into the neighbourhood. In other words middle class families are a bad influence on the dealers, working girls and addicts that are presently there.

That is Vancouver specifically and Canada in a nutshell. Until we relearn that sports and recreation works, that it is just as important a part of our fabric as any other cultural or infrastructure project we will always have decrepit facilities.

That is what I have been saying all along. They wont spend money on stadiums, yet they dump a billion dollars a year into the ARTS.
It really pisses me off as most people dont even follow the Arts.

Perhaps most people you know don't follow the arts, but I can assure you that most people I know do.....there is more to "The Arts" than people generally think - much more than simple paint and canvas.....

I dunno if we can't build ANY stadiums in Canada. Toronto recently got one, and two more are slated to begin construction in Vancouver and Montreal. The feds were willing to dish out $400M for the commonwealth games, which woulda meant a nice stadium, and Asper's throwing up a beauty in Winnipeg with government help. Four new stadiums by 2010 ain't bad. I just think it’s these 50-70K monsters that don’t make any sense to build anymore. Stadiums built from now on are likely to be a lot like BMO: low cost, non-fancy, and operated privately.

I just think the healthcare and education interest groups are too smart and organized in this country. Those old slices of bullsh*t, "that money could have gone to help sick people", or "that money could go to our childrens’ futures" seems to get Canadians every time. They’re just slogans that interest groups love using, they’re not true. No one’s gonna die of neglect because we put up a stadium, and neither are anyone’s kids gonna grow up to be retards. It just generates a visceral reaction among voters, and politicians love to jump on it for cudos.

No one seems to get that the kind of money we're talking about (ie between $40-$80M) wouldn't even make a noticable difference if it were dumped down the healthcare or education sinkholes. I'm not saying healthcare and education aren't important, I'm just saying that they already get so much funding that there's way less economic returns. According to the 2004 budget, the feds wanted healthcare spending to reach $28B by 2007. $60M would represent a 2% increase, about enough to cover inflation.

Healthcare and education will ALWAYS be problems, and no one will EVER be satisfied with the level of service. The lack of good sports venues is easy to solve, and it's only a once-every-60-years expense. I can’t even blame politicians for this, because voters are just as bad.

Yes I know all about the arts and I am not against the arts. The arts is theatre, galleries, symphony, ect.
My problem with that is that when it comes to sports, most people are telling me that we should pay for it ourselfs, but when it comes to the arts, its all about funding, funding, funding.
Their was a radio talk show last month that address this exact issue.
They stated that if the Arts is so important, then the fans of the Arts should pay for it themselfs. Why should a football team that attracts 30 000 fans/ a Hockey team that draws 15 000 fans, and a baseball team that draws 10 00 fans per game get less funding that the theatre that draws 300 people to see a live show?

I am involved in the arts in a in direct way JM. I am a videographer as my art. I support the arts when I can too. I love comedy.
My point is more so about fairness. Sure the arts can generate some ecconomic spin offs and yes it may be good for the community, but it no way, shape, or form does it come close to what sports do for the city.
One football game can equal the entire yearly attendance for some of the treatres that I have worked with.
My argument is more so about fairness than anything.
Lets be honest, exactly how many people attend the Ballet? And how many people are involved in the Ballet? Now why does Winnipeg have a Multi Million Dollar Building for the Ballet that takes up a entire city block downtown?
That building is huge, the taxes on that building to keep it running is huge and it does not generate one red cent it tax revenue.
Here it is if you never seen it.

[url=] ... ballet.jpg[/url]

I know the building. While I see your point, I will maintain that you’re preaching to the wrong person. I don’t think there is a person alive who can convince me that my tax dollars are being wasted by supporting the arts.

Well said Dmont

Not preaching jm, discussing.
I can convince you very easilly by asking if you remember the Art made out of poop that was funding by tax dollars.
Or perhaps the 3 day exhibit that costed tons of tax payers dollars and all it was , was cow blood smeared all over the floor.
Now here is a good one, how about the blue painting with a red line going through it that a 2 year old could paint that costed Canada 3 million dollars to buy in the 80s,lol

Yes funding is good for the Arts to some degree, providing that is it use wisely and funded properly.
That giant building is a waste of money for the Ballet. I would rather have my taxes go into a nice practical studio for the ballet. I have no problem with that.
I have no problem supporting the Winnipet Symphony Orcestra. But I do have a problem with Arts getting the green light while sports gets the red light all the time.

Just because I don't like it doesn't mean it isn't good art to someone else. Although you've tried, you have not changed my mind. I have no problem with some of my dollars being thrown towards sport - amateur sport, that is, and I would be happy, too, if dollars were given to amateur arts rather than funding professional organizations.

The past few years have shown me that most levels of government are willing to put up money to build stadiums.

The problem is at the grassroots level. There's no organized interest groups pressuring them to do so. I can see why they don't exist in places like London and Quebec City, but Hamilton and Saskatchewan really surprise me.

In my opinion, you've got two top two largest fan bases in the CFL. Why isn't there a "NEW STADIUM" group organizing rallies, petitions, speaking in the media, etc. No one's gonna hand you the money, you've gotta fight for it. hahah, and with all the bleeding-heart hippies in Canada, a fight you shall have.

I dont know about Vancouver but the new soccer stadiumin Montreal is funded
50% by the Saputo family
50% private investors
0% by the federal government!

I am not trying to change your mind, I am giving you examples of what is being spent on the arts.
Now relating this to stadiums it just gets to me that the media, and the general public continue to slam a stadium idea by saying "If you want a new stadium then pay for it yourself". My argument is that when you say someting back to them in regards to the arts, they get offended."
Trust me JM, I support the ARTS...BUT...I support real ARTS that people can actually enjoy. When a boxing promoter has to cover all costs of the fight card, renting the venue, promoting, ect how is it fair that a artist can get funding to pay for his venue, have his material funding, and get studio space to cover his costs, where is the fairness in that.
Yes I think you and I agree to what organizations should and should not get funding but its all about fairness. Amature arts and amature sports should get funding. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with funding organizations that do not return something back into the community.

The “Arts”, and all that encompasses, is a multi-billion dollar industry in both Canada and the US. That’s a LOT of jobs and tax revenue.

The same thing goes for sports. Stadiums generate jobs and revenue over the long haul. Industries grow around them. People like going to them (as long as they’re not 100 years old and/or in poor condition) and the more that do help the teams that use the stadium succeed. Revenue from a successful teams gets put back into the community, and programs for youth sports can be developed and supported.

The city that ignores sports ignores the future of its youth. It’s an investment in the future.

I suppose one could look at in the way that sport is a form of art, really. One such definition of art is "the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning"....and I will agree completely that sport is an excellent method by which to invest in youth, but the same can be said for the more conventional "arts".....when one goes, there is an entire segment of the population left out in the cold.

Well somebody in these towns better wake up or these old band boxes they're passing off as stadiums will eventually collapse into a pile of rubble. Then again will you be able to tell the difference?

Well, the government does have to try and please everyone equally. So if they want to fund the arts, fine. And I can also live with them funding amateur stuff more than professional stuff.

But at the same time, I'd say sports are much more popular than the arts. I'm sure that over a year, local sports features much more paid attendance than most, if not all local arts-related things combined (in those cities with a CFL or NHL team, anyway). Still, arts seems to get much more funding.

I'd guess the government wants to support Canadian culture, but Canadian sports ARE Canadian culture, and an essential part of it to boot. Especially something like Canadian football, which is really only played in one country in the world.

Hell, maybe if you convinced the government that a CFL team would liven up the maritimes, and that it would boost the economy and reputation/recognition of the maritimes, maybe that would help. (Not to mention creating jobs and travel ... which I guess is economy ... nm.)

But of course people will whine about it ... and since (unfortunately) the group of hardcore CFL fans is likely smaller than the group of people who would rather see money put towards education, health care, etc, we'd likely lose out.

The other thing is that the artists tend to be louder ... both in voice and money (paying patrons tend to be the well-to-do).

I would never expect the government to build a stadium just so the CFL could expand, but it would be nice if they helped it along a bit, in the interest of expanding Canadian culture and history.

As for the ageing (is that how it's spelt??) stadiums, the government may be more inclined to prop them up a bit if they could be convinced that they're historical landmarks.

But ultimately, private investment is what it comes down to, and that's what is needed the most.

just wait for the asper/winnipeg model to show everyone how to build a stadium that makes sense for both the private and government levels....

then, we might see more investors following that model of building a stadium with private and gov. funding ( which the gov. gets back in 5 years ) with a mall plus a cfl team.