Now Saputo wants governments to pony up

Here's another litmus test for government(s). Let's see what the Fed's do now. In theory, since they told Asper and the Bombers that they would only be willing to put 15 million into an amateur sports complex next to that stadium, they should tell Saputo they would be willing to fund his stadium to a maximum of about 2 million to let the amateur soccer kids use his field.

Or maybe they'll screw over football a-again and build another BMO in Montreal.

[url=http://sports.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090415.wsptsaputo15/GSStory/GlobeSportsSoccer/home]http://sports.theglobeandmail.com/servl ... occer/home[/url]

Saputo wants government to help MLS bid
Article Comments (10) The Canadian Press

April 15, 2009 at 9:04 PM EDT

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact is seeking $25 million in government funding to expand its stadium and strengthen its bid for a Major League Soccer franchise.

Joey Saputo, president of the United Soccer Leagues club, said the decision was inspired by government funding of stadiums to be used by the two teams recently granted franchises by MLS for 2011 — Vancouver and Portland, Ore.

"It's something we never looked at and it's something we'll have to, or else we're going to see the train pass again and that's something we can't let happen," Saputo said Wednesday at a team banquet.

"We worked hard to develop the sport of soccer in Quebec and we have to start being more aggressive because infrastructure money is available and we can't be shy to take a look at potentially getting some of that money so we can bring the next level of soccer here, which would be the MLS."

The Vancouver Whitecaps will move into a BC Place Stadium refurbished with government funding and Portland got $85,000 (U.S). Toronto FC had its 20,000-seat BMO Field built three years ago with $66-million in public funding.

"So there's nothing wrong with thinking we should do the same," Saputo added.

The Saputo family used $15-million of its own money to build 13,000-seat Saputo Stadium, which opened last season. They hope to expand the facility to more than 20,000 seats.

A joint bid by Saputo and Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett was turned down by MLS in October because it did not meet the league's $40-million expansion fee.

Instead, their bid of more than $40-million was both to boost stadium seating and the expansion fee.

Saputo hopes government funding for a stadium will let the club use the money to get their team into MLS.

He hopes to join MLS for 2011 or at the latest 2012. He said he has not looked at buying an existing MLS club.

Saputo is also one of several bidders to buy the Canadiens, but he refused comment on the NHL club.

i'm pretty sure he built most of the 13,000 seat stadium with his own money so to have the feds help pay for 1 brand new stand on the south side of the field isn't too much to ask?

Why should the gov have to pay?

He freely chose to spend his money on his team. There is no reason the taxpayer should have to chip in

I actually disagree.

What I want to see is the Fed's address this problem once and for all. Right now there is this tremendous upswell of cities wanting/needing to build stadiums for various purposes. But the reality in this country is that they can't be built without funding from all levels of governments, including the Feds. But the Fed's are so concerned about the perception of building outdoor stadiums that they're saying no (unless you own the Leafs or you want to build a stadium for your professional junior hockey team, and then it's great).

The reality is, government's benefit from the taxes related directly and indirectly to outdoor stadiums capable of hosting large events and they should fund these things under the right set of circumstances as a result. I am blown away that all the Fed's would kick into Asper's project is 15 million, and then only after months of negotiation. My god, they probably spend more on pencils every year!

What I'd like to see is the Fed's create a funding program that outlines a criteria that must be met by any city or organization looking to build an outdoor stadium, so that the process is fair and equitable and transparent. Right now what we have is a free for all...BC negotiates separately for their deal, then you see yesterday Saputo saying well you did it for BC, why not for us? Ottawa is doing all this hand-wringing over its stadium right now, but wherever they decide to put their stadium (if they go ahead at all) they're still going to have to get money from the Fed's to build it. So what then, do the Fed's say well we wouldn't do it in Winnipeg, so we can't do it in Ottawa? Without a program in place we're in danger of having no stadium built, or even worse, the Fed's doing something like saying 'Eugene, you're a nice guy, we'll build your stadium' and end up with a mess like BMO.

Better to have a process than nothing at all.

For me, I just want to see more CFL teams in the league, but until we figure out how to get the stadiums built it aint gonna happen. I also want to see the stadiums of existing teams upgraded when their lifespan is up, which also helps to keep the league thriving and solvent.

Why couldn't a MLS team play at Molson Stadium?

From memory Mr. Saputo approached McGill University for some discussions that would have had him make a substantial investment in the stadium in some shape or form (naming rights and improvements to outright purchasing the stadium) but the University was not interested. From what I remember naming rights were a big part of it and is an important way of “expensing” this for many organisations. Saputo never had any issues with sharing location with the Als but in the end he could not make a deal with McGill and the Als weren’t interested in moving out East…

This Saputo fellow is interesting have to admit, I like him, doesn't just play to the whims of the MLS and the Toronto Tanenbaums, he's his own man, I like it. And isn't going around bashing Canadian football from what I can see. Yes, he wants a deal and that is fair enough, so does everyone, but doesn't seem to have hidden Tanenbaum agendas to ruin the CFL and just care about NFL, MLS or whatever.

I think he is somewhat cheesy

And Phil Lind and Larry Tanenbaum aren't cheesy totally, and Eugene Melnyk? Saputo is no more cheesy than the sports head of Rogers and MLSE IMHO and Senators Sports and Entertainment or whatever it is Melnyk calls his company.

UH!
Earl

check out this link

http://www.saputo.ca/indexEn_cons.asp

Ok, you got me there I admit. :thup:

RO is the "Head Cheese" in these parts :slight_smile: