Halifax gets 3-month delay on FIFA decision
City still chasing funding for stadium
Canada's governing soccer body says it will give Halifax three months to come up with the money to build a soccer stadium for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Halifax regional council wanted the Canadian Soccer Association to delay a decision on the Women's World Cup while the city hunts for partners to help pay for a new stadium. Council voted on Tuesday to ask the association for a six-month delay.
Peter Kelly, the mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, said Wednesday that the three-month delay is better than no extension at all.
"It's a bit short a time frame in terms of trying to secure all the partners," he told CBC News.
"Clearly we'll have to move quickly and ensure that all information is available for potential partners to make up their minds and in the interim we'll continue to refine the sighting of this facility as well."
The city is vying to be one of the Canadian host cities for the international soccer event. In order to qualify, it needs a stadium.
Kelly said he'll continue to ask both the province and the federal government for funding.
"We don't have any answers yet. There's interest, but there's no one there giving dollars at this time," he said.
"I haven't heard anybody say, 'No,' so I would say nobody has been written off and we'll continue to treat them as all potential partners."
A report prepared for the municipality says building a stadium in Dartmouth Crossing would cost between $55 million and $71 million. The domed building would accommodate up to 20,000 spectators.
Council agreed in October to spend up to $20 million on a new stadium. However, Premier Darrell Dexter has repeatedly said the province has no money for one.
Many regional councillors don't want to give up.
Coun. Bob Harvey said it's too late to turn back now.
"I'm prepared to play brinkmanship with this a little longer and go to the edge of the cliff. But I tell you, I'm not going into this without financial partners that are going to pick up whatever's left over from that $20 million," he said.
Coun. Bill Karsten doubts the Canadian Soccer Association will give the municipality until May to find the rest of the money.
"When several of us met with them when they were in town it seemed to me that the September date was somewhat, very firmly, carved in stone," Karsten said.