Mayor of Halifax says decision on stadium coming this year

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CTV Atlantic
Published Monday, February 3, 2014 6:58PM AST
Last Updated Monday, February 3, 2014 7:01PM AST

After years of debate, the Mayor of Halifax says a decision on a stadium for the city will be made this year.

“If we go for it this year, then I think we get to a go or no go question. I think that happens this year,? says Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.

Next week, CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon is in Halifax and will meet with Savage. Cohon has made it clear in the past that any hope of a CFL team in the Maritimes relies on a new stadium in Halifax.

“He’s meeting with some business folks, he’s going to meet with some people in the community, I’ll be at some of those meetings,? says Savage.

Although business leaders are involved in next week’s meetings, Savage says a stadium will be led by government.

“You can’t have a stadium that’s led by the private sector. Private sector needs to be involved, but they’re gonna want to see that there’s a commitment from government,? says Savage.

Councillor Gloria McCluskey says she could support a stadium, depending on who pays for it.

“If we get enough private business and other levels of government, that’s great, I’d be in favour of it,? says McCluskey.

When talk turns to where the stadium would be located, it appears Shannon Park is the favourite pick.

“There’s certainly a compelling case to be made for a place like Shannon Park,? says Savage.

Shannon Park is still in the hands of the military, but right now the stadium is only a concept, next week’s meetings will be pivotal in moving forward.

“It there’s an appetite, how do we move this forward? Do we go to a committee again? Do we establish a committee to do a feasibility? Do we refresh the feasibility that was done?? asks Savage. “I think those are the kinds of questions we start looking at after next week.?

With files from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant

Fingers crossed they vote 'yes'.

But they've voted 'no' in the past, so even if they vote 'no' again this year, we can probably return to the question again around 2020. :wink:

I wouldn't get too excited.
Deja vu and we all remember what happened when the city backed out at the last moment prior to the Commonwealth bid.

That chickenshiat mayor was booted out.

Agreed. Counting the Schooner fiasco, the Pan Am Games embarrassment, then the latest stadium misfire just over a year ago, the area has a long, sketchy, inept history in regards to getting a stadium built.

I would love to see a stadium in Halifax and a CFL team , but Halifax city council has political amusement track record , that leaves the rest of the country shaking their heads

Hopefully this mayor has a back bone.

Cripes, based on history here, we'd be back at it within three months, being told that a stadium is right around the corner. :roll:

Building stadiums in this country is extremely difficult. Look at Ottawa (five year battle with locals). Toronto… Halifax is very similar to Victoria BC in its makeup. We have very old conservative money that installs these mayors and counsel and they only thing they care about is to subsidize the property taxes on their million dollar mansions and real estate holdings.

Savage is a different breed. If he can’t get it done it won’t happen and the CFL will file away that idea for the next decade or two. I still think a stadium should be part of a bigger discussion in Halifax. This is an amazing city that can be so much more but it needs to stop catering to eighty year old money and start thinking about how to create a durable economy and keeping the kids we pay to educate here. Really this should be Canada’s version of Seattle. Instead we are exporting over 90 percent of our graduates.

I was in Halifax around 10 years ago nice city but it seems many are scared of change the area could be so much better.

I would not say scared. They like things the way they are. Who can blame them. A clean city, low taxes, low crime. We even built a 60 million dollar brick and mortar library for our nice rich old folks that don't like electronics. But zero opportunities for young people or new Canadians. So zero growth... The last large private employer (Imperial refinery) is shutting down in August. Dartmouth crossing the billion dollar shopping plaza is struggling and Mr. Irving had to threaten to fire the old union curmudgeons at the Halifax Shipyard after they attacked and beat the security guards. If I had one word to describe Halifax would be "selfish".

Scared might be the wrong word but there was something that did seem a bit off.

Absolutely. The mindset in this city is like stepping back in time. There is a racial divide that must not be talked about and its not just the "whites"... and there are social classes like in the UK that also must not be talked about... It is changing but at a snail's pace.

I hope Halifax does this rights and gets its house in order.

I think we wasted the window. If the economy goes into a rececssion (I think it will) it will be a huge setback and we will have to wait another couple of decades. Hope I'm wrong.

Excluding the new Mayor, what about the remaining tree hugging council and their lack of political will when it comes to sport and especially a stadium?

Exactly. It wasn't that long ago that they voted against this.

Now maybe the line-up has changed, or a few people have changed their minds, or there's a new opportunity that is moer appealing than the last. But I'm a little worn out on any news coming from that part of the country about that topic. at this point, I don't even believe them when they say a decision is being made this year!

It is true that Halifax and Nova Scotia govt have struck out before there are some things coming up that they can see what they will be missing out on if they do not get a proper professional Football/Soccer Stadium.
The Landsdowne par project will be a Money maker for the govt from taxes paid and for the private sector who will be investing in the redevlopment project.
2015 the are left out of the Women's World Cup and they are already seeing other cities probably getting hotel reservations getting ready now.
Saint Mary's are in desperate need of a stadium and are finding they can not pay for what they wnat as Huskie Field is crumbling. If they want the CIS football Semis back in Halifax there will need to be a stadium in place.

A lot not all had to do before with just a CFL team as the main focus of a stadium but are seeing that would only be one part of the stadiums use and that their will be plenty of events in the future coming to Canada and bowing out to Moncton again may just be getting plain embaressing.

Some will and have argued me over this next point but the CFL has much better partners now then they did during the pre RedBlacks days. Those partners may already have or wnat to have a bigger footprint in HRM.

Also the fact that Cohon will be there to meet with everyone could be the central start of getting everyone onboard


Half of them were wiped out including SMU south end queen B… Sally Uteck. The remaining half are on their heels… So who knows. We might get lucky.

If I remeber right she was one of the very outspoken agains a pro stadium in Halifax but also looking for money for a smaller stadium on SMU campus.
It appears, at least from the outside looking in, from news reports and comments that those who were in office against the stadium many are gone and like mentioned above seeing others losing their seats in Making the stadium a politcal stance will be in fear if they vote against it this time around

She is the biggest landlord in the South end of Halifax raking millions from renting places to students. She blocked SMU engaging the city in a municipal stadium and with the other hand lobbied for public funds to renovate and expand the University stadium in the neighbourhood where she owns roughly 600 properties. That's what your facing in Halifax... Not easy sledding...