Games facilities could top $163.3m
And that figure is lower than costs of other similar stadiums
By LAURA FRASER
Halifax’s pitch for the 2014 Commonwealth Games includes a $97-million stadium, $40.7-million aquatic centre and $25.6-million badminton facility, The Chronicle Herald has learned.
The $163.3-million complex would be located in Shannon Park, to be renamed Commonwealth Park, and hundreds of empty military apartments would be demolished to make way for it.
The Commonwealth Games committee has kept quiet about facilities and costs, but bid documents obtained by The Chronicle Herald also show that training and events would be held at 23 sites as far away as Acadia University in Wolfville.
Halifax 2014 spokeswoman Deborah Hashey confirmed that $97 million was the expected price tag for the 40,000-seat stadium that was proposed a year ago.
But Scott Logan, CEO of the Halifax bid, said Friday the proposed facility has been expanded to 50,000 seats now that Halifax is competing with international bidders Glasgow, Scotland, and Abuja, Nigeria. He would not confirm the new price.
"I have a new number," he said. "I don’t know if it’s lower."
The domestic bid was submitted to Commonwealth Games Canada in November 2005 but has not been made public.
Halifax won the right to be Canada’s bidder and will submit a detailed international package to the Commonwealth Games Federation in May.
The budget in the international bid will be more accurate than any preliminary numbers, Mr. Logan said.
The team had a $750,000 budget to put together the domestic bid, "so the ability to do extensive work on costing would have been limited," he said.
"(Now) we will have more time to do more detailed analysis (and) to spend more time on actual design costing."
Mr. Logan wouldn’t say whether the new cost estimates will be higher or lower than those put forward in the domestic bid.
"(The) number will be based on good science and experience and building other stadiums throughout the world," he said.
The City of Manchester Stadium, built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, cost $240 million. It seated 38,000, or 12,000 fewer people than the facility proposed for Shannon Park.
The 50,000-seat Shannon Park stadium would lose 25,000 temporary seats after the Games, Mr. Logan said.
Neither Mr. Logan nor Ms. Hashey would say whether the larger stadium would cost more than the $97-million estimate.
But Vancouver architect Ian McKay said that amount will probably go up.
"A 50,000-seat stadium would probably be well over $100 million these days," said Mr. McKay, a principal at PBK Architects. "It sounds like $97 million would be a challenge to build it. . . . I know they’re trying to do only half the seats, like a 25,000-seat facility, but there’s still a cost to the temporary seats."
PBK Architects worked on BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, which cost about $100 million in the 1980s, Mr. McKay said. "That one (in Shannon Park) might not have a roof on it, so there might be some savings there."
But inflation and the rising cost of oil are driving up construction materials, he said. "The price is always going up."
An athletes village would also be built at Shannon Park. Visiting athletes would be able to relax at a proposed movie theatre, dance hall or arcade.
Older venues outside Shannon Park would also host events and training, and the Halifax Metro Centre would be renovated for the Games.