Company aiming to bring CFL team to Halifax pitches Shannon Park for stadium
The proposal from Maritime Football Ltd. estimates construction costs up to $190 million
The company hoping to bring a CFL team to Halifax has proposed Shannon Park, along the east side of Halifax harbour, as the site for a 24,000-seat stadium.
The proposal from Maritime Football Ltd. estimates construction costs between $170 million and $190 million, with the municipal and provincial governments pitching in.
The proposal is on the agenda for the Oct. 30 regional council meeting, where council is expected to direct the chief administrative officer to conduct a business case analysis.
The report also recommends making amendments to Halifax's charter to allow a tax agreement on the stadium, discussing debt financing possibilities with the province and preparing a financial report for council.
The report says the province's participation as a funding partner is "essential" to the project, and it suggests increasing the hotel marketing levy tax or developing a car rental tax as possible revenue streams.
The company is planning a season-ticket drive as early as November, though it will be several years before the stadium is ready for use.
Commissioner wants 10th team
The CFL has encouraged the development of an elusive 10th franchise, with commissioner Randy Ambrosie saying in the summer "it's the unfulfilled part of our national dream to have the Maritimes have a football team."
Maritime Football was believed to be focused on possible stadium locations in Dartmouth Crossing and the Bayers Lake business park. However, Anthony Leblanc, the leader of the expansion bid, has denied for months that was the case.
Premier Stephen McNeil was emphatic in July that provincial taxpayers would not be burdened with the cost of a stadium in Halifax.
"General revenue is not part of our conversation," he said. "I'm not reaching into general revenue to build a football stadium."
The prospective team owners have targeted 2021 as the preferred season to begin league play.
"For much of the past year, we have been meeting with stakeholders, exploring partnership opportunities and evaluating potential site locations throughout the municipality," Leblanc said.
"After due consideration, we have identified Shannon Park as the preferred location for a multi-use stadium. We are in discussions with Canada Lands Company to secure up to 20 acres for the development of a 24,000-seat stadium. We look forward to sharing our vision and engaging the public as we advance through this process."
With files from CBC News