NS: Door all but closed on stadium dreams

Jennifer Taplin
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Metro Halifax

HRM council will vote on the matter on Tuesday, but many councillors have stated emphatically: no partners, no $60-million stadium.

The former military barracks in Shannon Park are seen in this file photo. The area is one of the spots being considered as a potential outdoor stadium site.

[HALIFAX, NS] — Dreams of building a stadium in the near future and hosting a FIFA event are all but dead in the water.

Council will vote on the matter on Tuesday, but many councillors have stated emphatically: no partners, no $60-million stadium.

“It’s a personal disappointment that it was an element that was not able to be completed, but it’s more of a municipal disappointment that we aren’t able to garner this needed piece of sport infrastructure,” said Mayor Peter Kelly, who will leave the stadium issue as a loose end when he steps down from the mayor’s chair in the fall.

He said it’s still not a matter of if, but when, because Halifax needs a stadium as the region’s biggest city.

 The report said HRM representatives met with the premier, interested MLAs, and all party leaders. The official response: “A business case for the stadium had not been prepared in a manner to support a provincial investment.”

There were meetings with federal ministers of ACOA and sport, as well as support from Defence Minister Peter MacKay. But the federal departments said they would not partner at this time. A request for private partnerships was issued and seven corporations replied, but none of them offered cash for construction.

Staff suggest shelving the $275,000 stadium analysis for future consideration in the capital plan, but moving ahead in the meantime with the possible purchase of the Shannon Park Lands. 
It’s owned by the Department of National Defence but will soon be disposed of as surplus property to the Canada Lands Company. Kelly said the 33-hectare site would be perfect for a “campus concept” that would include a stadium as well as a quadplex. It would be an enormous asset for that part of Dartmouth, Kelly said.

“Being an eternal optimist, I would hope it’s within years not decades,” Kelly said.

Organizations: FIFA, Department of National Defence, Canada Lands Company

Geographic location: Dartmouth

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Recent comments

  • The Shadow
    April 20, 2012 - 11:49

    Dean this city will never get its act together simply because they cannot put into compartments how to end up with a Stadium . The placement of the Skating oval was an incredible waste at the commons. You have much of the concrete floor spaced needed for a stadium in a place that the citizens would not allow to have a stadium sited on. The RFP to the private sector was about the only good part of this process as it revealed possible private parties interesting in siting a stadium Dartmouth Crossing Quary and The Airport Quary sites are the most logical.

  • Dean
    March 26, 2012 - 11:24

    "If but When" "If" it makes thoroughly reviewed and publicly documented financial sense. (Not political sense) "When" we can afford it. Without debt. Not before.