Bombers stadium costs climb higher

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz says the latest estimated construction cost for the proposed Blue Bombers football stadium exceeds $160 million.

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz says the latest estimated construction cost for the proposed Blue Bombers football stadium exceeds $160 million.

He wouldn't say by how much but a source close to the project told CBC News the figure is closer to the $180-million range.

There may be an announcement as early Wednesday on the costs and just who will pay, CBC has been told.

When the original plan for a new stadium, to be built on the University of Manitoba campus, was originally announced in early April 2009, the price was pegged at $115 million.

An updated budget was presented last week to the stakeholders in the deal, showing the cost had shot up from $115 million to more than $160 million.

Two days later, David Asper, the businessman who has been spearheading efforts to build the facility, told CBC News there is a chance he might bow out of the process.

Looking for savings

He met with Katz and Premier Greg Selinger earlier this week behind closed doors.

Selinger says the new stadium will go ahead, but how it will proceed needs to be worked out.

"I can't give you any specifics on that, people are still working on it. But when people come together with what they believe to be the accurate number and a proposed solution or range of solutions, those will be presented to the public," he said.

Katz said people involved in the project — the province, the Winnipeg Football Club, the City of Winnipeg, The U of M, and Asper's development company, Creswin — are talking to contractors to see what can be done to bring down costs.

"We're looking at the numbers that have come in and we're seeing whether there are savings that can be had from those numbers," Katz said.

"I think that's what we have to find out. That's the astute thing to do."

Whatever solution the parties agree to will provide for a facility that can be used year round, Selinger promised.

The original plans included an inflatable dome that would cover the field — but not the entire stadium — in winter so university teams could use it during the CFL off-season.