OH OH! STATUS OF WINNIPEG STADIUM?

I know it takes forever in this country to get a stadium build, unlike a hockey arena OK maybe that's not a good example for Winnipeg either.
Anyway what is the latest status for the location at U of M and especially involving Mr. Asper.
The reason I ask is yesterday I heard how dire the finances are for Canwest Global so much so that there is a possibility that the company may go into bankruptcy protection at month end.
If so, what if anything will this do to the involvement of Mr. Asper for the team ownership and the stadium involvement?
Does anyone know in the Peg?

…Aspers financial situation seems a little tenuous as of now…He does have his money tied up in other investments,but who knows how well they’re doing…The stadium could be put on the back-burner or the whole deal could collapse…We don’t know???the silence about the project is deafening…Could be the Aspers have got cold feet, due to the economic down-turn…BUT until we hear something, i still consider it a go…HELLO DAVID??? :roll:

...given the current state of debt lending with major banks any project not currently in the ground with secure promises of credit is a project that will remain on paper until further notice....even if he wanted to not even Asper has the liquid capital required to get a project like this going....sorry papa, that is the hard reality today, maybe things change for 2010 but 2009 is a belt-tightening year....

…All we can do is live in hope RedW…I would hate to see this venture shrivel up and blow away in the wind…but you’re right…finacial reality is upon us… :frowning:

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Article is mostly bad news for the Aspers... but there's good news for football fans. I've highlighted it in red.

Aspers losing grip on Canwest empire
Executives struggle to find financing for $3.9-billion debt

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/aspers_losing_grip_on_canwest_empire-40020202.html]http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/busine ... 20202.html[/url]

By: Martin Cash
1:00 AM

[i]The death watch on Canwest is full on now.

A bank syndicate that provides Canwest's operating line of credit had put the company on an allowance earlier this month with a deadline for a new deal at the end of this month.

The Globe and Mail reported this week that the company may have to seek bankruptcy or an equity infusion that would dramatically dilute the Asper family's control of the company.

Industry and Canwest observers have all but started the wake.

On Friday, Canwest shares lost another 17.5 per cent and closed at 35 cents, one penny above its all-time low.

Its desperate need for capital to pay down some of its $3.9-billion debt and service current payment levels -- at the same time that advertising revenue at its television stations and newspapers, as well as asset values, are declining -- has led many to speculate that however the capital is obtained it will invariably come with loss of control by the Asper family, the end of its multiple-voting shares and/or the removal of Leonard Asper as CEO.

Its small-market E! television stations are formally on the market. In an unusual move earlier this week, its Australian television operation, Network Ten, announced an equity offering and then pulled it the very next day.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Inc. already owns 22.41 per cent of Canwest's equity and the Globe and Mail reported that it may be seeking control. It reported that bankers close to the company suggest Fairfax or other investors (Canadian Press has reported that Onex Corp., run by the late Izzy Asper's former partner, Gerry Schwartz, may also be interested) would have to inject about $300 million to have an impact on the company's ability to stay out from under the mountain of debt.

There is some talk about the possibility that the Aspers could maintain control even with a new partner because of onerous benefit charges required by the regulators with a change of control of television assets.

A myriad of scenarios is still possible including that the Aspers may loose what has become the crown jewel of corporate Winnipeg.

A finance expert said, "If Leonard (Asper) does not have the discipline to sell this or that asset, rest assured that Prem Watsa (CEO of Fairfax) will be in there doing it."

There are probably no more determined or proud operators than the Aspers. Senior executives have decamped to Toronto to a war-room setting and word has already been sent to the offices of the premier and the mayor assuring them that previously promised financing for a new football stadium from the family's real estate company, Creswin Properties, will not be compromised regardless of how things shake out at corporate Canwest.

The family and the company's relative community profile may be another story.

There is already talk around town about what Winnipeg will be like without the Asper/Canwest creativity, initiative and leadership.

"Winnipeg has two families, the Richardsons and the Aspers," one senior Winnipeg business figure said. "Pretty soon there may be just be one."

The company has been famous for its complicated deals and corporate structures. Sources close to the company say there are not just one or two, but many options in dealing with the crisis.

"People are trying to get to the finish line but we are only one quarter of the way through the race," Canwest spokesman, John Douglas said. "It is a very structured process with checkpoints along the way. One of them is a financial agreement with the senior banks that includes everything from examining non-core assets, reducing our cost structure and recapitalizing the company. There are a number of options."

Late Friday, a source said it was likely that an operating line of credit will be re-established, perhaps with a lower ceiling.

Even if that first hurdle is cleared it will likely not alter the reality that the company will still, at the least, be forced to sell assets at the worst possible time.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca[/i]

Wow, I thought Canwest was a company that never would see hard times. Guess I'm wrong but they are saying this recession is developing faster than than the '30's recession, yikes. I know my mutual funds are taking a huge hit, like most out there.

But man I hope the football stadium gets the go-ahead, we need this in this country right now, some friggin good news!!

Amen Earl, its depressive every day too.

.

A little update on the stadium works around CFL cities. Apparently things are still rosy for the Winnipeg stadium.

R-word spells building-boom times for CFL

[url=http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/word+spells+building+boom+times/1322896/story.html]http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/word ... story.html[/url]

By Cam Cole, Vancouver Sun columnist
February 24, 2009

[i]Get the country moving again, Canada. Build a football stadium today.

Better yet, build four.

That slogan might not fly, all things considered, the next time PM Stephen Harper addresses the economic crisis, but judging by the flurry of activity in Canadian Football League cities this winter, it appears the constituents are quite prepared to read between the lines.

In the middle of an economic R-word that's bordering on a D-word, three active CFL markets and a provisional entry are in varying stages of discussion or planning for new playing facilities. Suddenly, a league that has been through its own extended periods of great depression over the past couple of decades is thinking boom time.

Just in the last few days, these stories have been headlines in their respective towns:

• Winnipeg -- Former Blue Bombers chairman David Asper, who has been quietly dotting i's and crossing t's with the city, province and feds for several years, now has close to unanimous support for a new $135 million, 30,000-seat stadium at the University of Manitoba.

• Hamilton -- City council voted 12-3 Monday in favour of putting $60 million toward a $165 million stadium/velodrome complex that hinges on the Golden Horseshoe's securing the 2015 Pan-American Games.

• Ottawa -- Though the project is currently stalled because two ownership groups can't agree on a site for a shared soccer/football stadium, it seems likely sanity will prevail at some point, and the national capital will be turning sod on a new park within a year or two.

• Regina -- Mayor, province and Roughriders are in early discussions about possibly doing millions of dollars in improvements to Taylor Field/Mosaic Stadium ... with a wrecking ball.

The impetus, we are told, isn't necessarily the $7 billion in infrastructure incentives on offer from the federal government, in hopes of stimulating construction projects across the country, but you can't blame CFL cities if they have spotted an opening.

"A lot of these projects have been in the works for a long time," said CFL commissioner Mark Cohon. "And I think in terms of what's happening now with the stimulus package coming out from the government, they're obviously looking for infrastructure and community-driven projects. And if you look from Ottawa to what passed today in Hamilton, to what David Asper is attempting to do in Winnipeg -- all these would be projects that would be near getting shovels in the ground.

"So I think these would be great opportunities, not just for the league, but for the communities that we're in."

Cohon was in a taxi from Edmonton International Airport to his downtown hotel yesterday when reached by phone, so he only had an hour or two to talk. He was there for today's announcement that Edmonton will play host to the 2010 Grey Cup, news that is usually accompanied by the home team's plans for extensive stadium renovations to be paid for out of Grey Cup revenues.

But Commonwealth Stadium, which was already the jewel of the CFL, had a $22 million facelift at the time of the 2001 IAAF world track and field championships, so the Eskimos can just pocket the dough this time and start building another Heritage Trust Fund, like they had in the early 1980s, during a previous recession.

Which brings us to the rest of the roll call:

n Vancouver -- BC Place Stadium is currently being updated for the 2010 Olympics, with a retractable roof to follow in 2011 that will boost the cost of the facelift to $365-million.

n Calgary -- Stampeders are using anticipated revenues from 2009 Grey Cup to accelerate plans for new administrative and football operations offices at McMahon Stadium, both to open this year, and to expand and retrofit their team and medical facilities as soon as the Grey Cup is over.

At virtually every stop on the circuit, some change is afoot.

Maybe not a lot in Toronto, where SkyDome got a coat of interior paint after it became Rogers Centre, improving the ambience very marginally, or Montreal, where the Alouettes seem to be stuck in about Year 10 of a plan to add 5,000 seats to ancient Percival Molson Stadium.

But the will appears to exist, everywhere else, to do the right thing for a league that has been mired in a lot of old parks for a very long time.

"I look at it as a real opportunity for the future strength of our league," said Cohon. "These initiatives would help us for the next 50 years."

Of course, none of the new-stadium projects has actually begun yet.

In Hamilton, the infusion of government money for Toronto's 2015 Pan-Am bid might be the only chance to breathe new life into a football franchise that has been suffering from stadium envy, while enduring a decaying Ivor Wynne for 30 years.

In Regina, they still haven't decided whether to renovate or raze Mosaic, or whether to aim low or go whole-hog and build a domed stadium that could be used through the fearful prairie winters.

Ottawa's lack of focus is astounding. There seems to be an admission, unspoken, that the city which has twice lost its CFL team cannot support two new pro enterprises. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk's Major League Soccer proposal centres on a real estate development near his NHL rink in distant Kanata, while Ottawa 67s owner Jeff Hunt, fronting the Lansdowne Live group, naturally wants to keep the football operation where it was, in Frank Clair Stadium, where his junior hockey squad plays in the adjacent Civic Centre.

Someone at city hall needs to get these self-interested moguls together and tell them that either they play nice and cooperate, or the city isn't interested in their woes and they can build their own stadiums.

Winnipeg is pretty much ready to go. Asper's Creswin Properties company is committing up to $100 million of the $135 million cost, and will recoup its investment by developing the area around the current Polo Park home of the Blue Bombers when the new stadium rises at the U of M.

Recession? Evidently, it was only a rumour.

ccole@vancouversun.com

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