update on Aspers stadium plans

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Although the progress has been slow, details for plans to erect a new football stadium in Winnipeg should be unveiled as soon as next month.

"I think it will all start to unfold next month," David Asper of CanWest Global, said yesterday.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers accepted Asper's proposal to build a $120 million facility at the current location of Canad Inns Stadium earlier this year.

Asper offered to pony up $40 million, hoping both the federal and provincial governments would match it. Asper would also invest $25 million to add a retail development on the site.

But first, Asper is awaiting a report concerning the stadium design.

"We are doing our due diligence," he said. "The overall report will include financial and legal details, then we will apply them to the stadium designers. Then we'll sit down and say, 'OK, does it work the way we envisioned it? Does it make sense?' "

Asper expects that report within the next two weeks. If satisfied, Asper will then sit down with reps of the governments that he hopes will become partners.

Although MP Vic Toews has publicly expressed some reluctance to commit public money to the project that will essentially make Asper a private owner of the local CFL club, Asper did not seem concerned.

WE'LL LISTEN

"I gave Vic a briefing in January and he said, 'When you're ready to make a presentation, we'll listen,' " said the former Bomber board chair. "I have no problem with Vic being careful with public money."

Manitoba Premier Gary Doer has already expressed his willingness to support the project, Asper added.

Although Bomber board members had been helping Asper gather the necessary details, that process slowed when they turned their attention to running the club once the season started.

"Then we got into summer," Asper said apologetically. "This is the tough sledding you go through to come up with a plan."

Asper had originally hoped to have the new digs up during the 2008 season.

"Everything goes slower than I want it to, it's just the reality of the situation," he said. "As an investor, I want to know in detail what I'm getting into. And I've got to understand all the potential risks. It's a ton of money."

The Bombers have been hoping to either build a new stadium or re-build the current facility for years as the present structure is badly in need of repair and many of the seats are too cramped. But before the shovels can start digging up dirt, Asper will need a financial commitment from the various governments, which could also take some time.

Like we have been saying, we need to clone Mr. Asper for the rest of the CFL.

if only melnyk would step-up in ottawa and do the same.

hell, even balsille..he should stop chasing the NHL and build a CFL team from scratch, stadium and all for less money.

Here here! Or get Katz to build a new retractable dome in Edmonton with REAL grass. Not the green blades atop concrete stuff they have now.

Doesn't Commonwealth Stadium have real grass?

Its always looked like real grass to me... I think it has to be real grass anyway, or we'd lose the designation of 'national soccer stadium'

You know, I think that Balsillie would love to do just that, CFL team and stadium and that and tell the NHL to go shove it, but his heart is with hockey and also, he knows he can make way more money with an NHL team in Canada, southern Ontario, than with a CFL team.
Hope the Asper and Bombers stadium plans go through, it would be such a benchmark for other teams to do although the Montreal stadium expansion is great and I think the Riders are planning for some big improvements to Mosaic also.

...David Asper is a very prudent and patient businessman who loves the Bombers and the CFL.....if anyone can make this fly in the Peg it's David....the only real stumbling block i see is the feds. ... the province is already on-side...and the city has carried on with their concessions to the team....More like David Asper in the CFL...you bet....he bleeds BluenGold...and has the savvy to make things work....he's a man of vision... and dedicated loyalty...and best of all he's a Winnipeger..... :thup: :rockin:

It "is"

real

grass, but is the worst playing surface in the league by far. Even in the best weather, it is natural fibres on top of concrete.

Natural fibres on top of concrete? What are they using in Edmonton, Patch Perfect? 8)

The Asper's have always been Liberal supporters, but I noticed the last Election David was supporting Stephen Harper. :slight_smile: It's always prudent for people like him to be with the Gov't of the day.

As long as the local politicians (city & province) are on board the feds will step up to the table. So there shouldn't be any problem for Winnipeg from what I'm reading.
But that's whats holding things up in Halifax, the city and province won't step up to initiate a stadium. The federal gov't always kicks in the lion's share for sporting facilities, but the locals have to put in a percentage to get things rolling.

What Halifax should do is get some sort of amateur championship, like the World Track thing or whatever, and use this as a springboard for a new stadium, now that they dropped out of the CG.

Forget about Halifax, they have had their "15 seconds of shame" and blew it big time. Too many left wing tree hugging politicians and residents.
I keep saying since the mayor of Moncton was hot to trot at one time, maybe this can be pursued by the new commish. That plus the obvious choice now is QC and perhaps Saskatoon.
Speaking of the new commish the silence is defening.

argotom, but I know from just looking at myself, it is possible to be both a tree hugging fanatic and a tough-nosed football fan at the same time! There's lots of people with these dual capabilities out there, I'm sure Halifax, Quebec City etc. have enough of them/us also. :wink:

True enough Earl, but it is obvious from afar and in us studying the Halifax situation for many a years now how the city council is anti sport and when combined there is no apparent "mover and shaker" like for instance someone remotely close to a Mr. Asper from the Peg.
It is a shame as from my travels to Halifax, it is truly a beautiful city and would have made an excellent location for a team.
Pity.

I beleave that there is going to be a new stadium in Winnipeg, but for some reason I think it is going to be a long drawn out process.
I hope Asper all the best with dealing with the politics.

Yup, it's real grass, but field turf will be installed next season at Commwealth as I understand. FIFA gives the okay for field turf, so it shouldn't be a problem for soccer.

I hate that turf in Edmonton - when the weather is perfect, it is great, however when the whether is not perfect, the athletes suffer. I've been at 2 Grey Cups in Edmonton where the field conditions prevented the players from performing at their best (hence affecting the game), the 1984 Grey Cup and the 2002 Grey Cup.

I'm wondering if the staggering amount of injuries that the Esks have experienced this season may in some part be caused by the field conditions...

Sadly, you're right argotom. Halifax is just out of it. They won't do a damn thing to help their city provide more opportunity for their youth. They are waiting for a white knight to ride into town to save them from mediocrity.

Fortunately, there are some very exciting and vibrant cities in Canada which are experience growth. These should be considered as candidates for a CFL team.

Québec - 715k
London - 457k
Kitchener/Waterloo - 451K
St. Kits/Niagara Falls - 390k
Oshawa - 330k
Victoria - 330k
Windsor - 323k
Saskatoon - 230k

All of these cities have experience similar growth in the last six years.

Windsor might be a sleeper. They could draw from Detroit. Moncton, at only 126k, seems just too small to support at team, but maybe I'm wrong.

Better Windsor than Saskatoon....I don't know why people insist that this province can sustain two football teams in the same league....personally, I can't see it working.

Do the 'riders draw a lot of fans from South of the border jm02?