Halifax council to request stadium deadline extension
Halifax regional council will ask for more time before making a final decision to build a new sports stadium in Dartmouth Crossing, Mayor Peter Kelly said Sunday.
"I believe we have sought out an extension and the indication is that it is possible, and so with that extension we'll be able to continue to have dialogue with various levels of government and other poential sponsorships," Kelly said.
A staff report had recommended the Dartmouth Crossing site and suggested council request an extension of the Dec. 31 deadline set by the Canadian Soccer Association if the city wants to host games during the 2015 women's World Cup of soccer.
Council will discuss the report at its meeting on Tuesday and decide then on officially requesting an extension.
Dartmouth Coun. Gloria McCluskey agreed it would be foolish to commit to building a stadium too quickly.
"If they give them more time, and that's what they need, that wouldn't be a problem for me. Maybe with more time they could get more sponsors. But we just can't afford to keep doing this," she said.
"So if there are no other funding partners, count me out."
The stadium will cost between $54.8 million and $71.1 million, and it's still not clear who will share the costs with the municipality.
Coun. Bill Carsten said he would support a deadline extension to give the city a chance to present a more complete plan to potential partners in the venture.
"All along, I think council had said there's not a huge interest to proceed unless the province and the feds would go along with it," he said. "I, for one, would have no interest in proceeding unless that funding was in place from our potential partners."
Kelly said a stadium was the final piece of sports infrastructure needed in the HRM, and adding one was about being visionary and attracting new investment in the long term.
The report, released Friday, recommends the stadium should have 14,000 permanent seats, with the ability to expand temporary seating to 20,000.
That's the minimum required to host the soccer event along with other Canadian cities.
Canada was awarded hosting duties for the 2015 women's World Cup last March.