...and it's a weird fight.
City councillors are actually arguing to have a proposed stadium placed IN their wards, instead of anywhere but.
Stadium sparks Council fight[url=http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/917574--stadium-sparks-council-fight]http://www.mississauga.com/news/article ... ncil-fight[/url]
[i]Councillors are in their corners ready to duke it out if the City of Mississauga is asked to build a soccer stadium for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Although Hamilton has been given a Feb. 1 deadline to deliver the 6,000-seat facility – and the smart money’s still on that city – Mississauga, Brampton, Oshawa and Markham have been approached by Games organizers to prepare contingency plans should Steeltown continue to fumble the ball.
The prospect has Mississauga officials giddy with excitement.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to have a facility in Mississauga. This may be our opportunity to fulfill it,? Mayor Hazel McCallion said this morning (Wednesday, Dec. 15) at City Council, which directed staff to immediately begin developing a business plan.
The City has already expressed interest, and several potential sites have been identified, among them the Hershey SportZone and the Ninth Line area in the city’s northwest corner.
The Hershey SportZone appears to be the front-runner because, as staff notes, it’s the only site that’s ready to go given the short time-line.
However, that technicality was ignored by half-a-dozen councillors who all said they wanted the stadium built in their wards.
Ward 7 Councillor Nando Iannicca kicked off the fray when he argued the stadium “belongs? in the City Centre, part of which he represents.
“Having gone through it with the Hershey Centre, I hope this time we site this thing strategically. That means the downtown core. That means where the (Go Kart) track is now – one of those pieces of land,? he said.
Iannicca said it was folly to put facilities far away from amenities like restaurants, hotels and Square One Shopping Centre.
“We blew it with the Hershey Centre. Let’s not blow it with this if it falls into our lap,? he said.
Ward 5 Councillor Eve Adams jumped to the defence of her ward and the Hershey SportZone.
“It does have fantastic parking and good access to (highways) 403, 401 and 410,? she insisted. “And that would be the challenge if we have it in the city core; that would be a fantastic location also, but parking is a big, big consideration.?
Not surprisingly, since he’s a catalyst for developing a vision for Lakeview, newly-elected Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey put in a plug for the disused Ontario Power Generating lands.
“I have a perfect site down on the waterfront,? he said with a laugh. “It has lots of parking and is really close to GO Transit, the TTC and Mississauga Transit. I think it’s really wonderful.?
Councillors Sue McFadden and Pat Saito, who represent the northwest part of the city, formed a tag team to shill for their area.
The former cited the large number of new schools being built to accommodate the growing population, proximity to highways and plentiful parking and restaurants.
“I hope that all these things will play a major role in your decision-making,? she urged her colleagues on Council.
Saito touted the availability of cheap land.
The recent purchase of the Ninth Line lands from Milton, “was the best deal this Council has ever approved, at an average of $28,000 per acre,? she pointed out.
McCallion had the final say, and she didn’t take sides.
“I have every confidence that staff will do a thorough job and come back with a report, and Council will make a decision based on a business plan,? she said.
Cost of the stadium would be shared by Games host corporation TO2015 (56 per cent) and the City (44 per cent).firstname.lastname@example.org[/i]