April 14, 2010
Construction starting soon on Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ new stadium
Ground will be broken on a new stadium for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers next month as plans to fast-track the stadium’s construction move forward.
According to Winnipeg Football Club chairman Bill Watchhorn, the sod will be turned on May 20 for the construction of a $137 million facility located on the University of Manitoba campus in south Winnipeg.
This announcement is part of a plan put together by the provincial government, the City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, University of Manitoba and Creswin Properties Inc. to accelerate construction of the new community-owned football stadium.
“This plan provides the foundation that is needed to move this project forward,” said Premier Greg Selinger. “Building the stadium now significantly reduces the long term cost, creates an immediate stimulus for our economy, and provides a lasting asset for the university and the community.”
Creswin will begin construction of the $115 million stadium this summer. It is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2012 CFL and Bison football seasons.
An additional $22.5 million will be invested in fitness facilities at the University of Manitoba.
As originally proposed, the new stadium will include 33,000 seats, overhead protection for 80 per cent of fans, enhanced concessions and washrooms, 40 private suites, a permanent Hall of Fame and an inflatable bubble for use in winter months.
The total project at the University of Manitoba will create an estimated 2,425 person-years of employment and $19.6 million in provincial tax revenues from construction.
The provincial government is providing bridge financing for the project, which will be fully repaid by Creswin as part of the transfer of team ownership.
Last week, the Winnipeg football club said it posted a $1.2-million loss for the 2009 season, largely due to restructuring and severance payouts.
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