Nova Scotia

Halifax stadium still being considered

Halifax Regional Council is still considering a new stadium in the municipality.

Halifax regional council is still considering a new stadium in the municipality.

On Tuesday, council decided a stadium with upwards of 15,000 permanent seats was worth studying for at least a few more months, to firm up costs and possible sites.

Last week a report recommended taking the next step which will look at site locations, cost and potential partners for the project.

Most councillors agreed that the former military housing at Shannon Park in Dartmouth was the front-runner when it comes to a location, some were pushing for a downtown site in order to get university support.

"I think this stadium will go a long way for sports, outdoor participation and quality of life issues for us here in the HRM," said District 2 Coun. Barry Dalrymple.

"My big ask is that we do look at possibilities of how we can include other sports into this sportsfield. Please try to be as open-minded as possible, as innovative as possible."

A number of councillors worried that the cost of construction and the ongoing expense of running a stadium would mean less money for other programs.

"So if we can build a stadium and have an economic case and it work out well financially, and the projections be accurate, then that would be a good thing. So I think what we need is realistic costs, revenues, projections, partnerships and a succinct report," said Linda Mosher, councillor for District 17.

District 14 councillor Jennifer Watts wondered if there was a cheaper solution.

"So do we need to have a stadium, all the money poured into a stadium — of possibly $60 million — when it looks like certainly they're going to build an indoor turf for Soccer for about $12 million at the Mainland Common which will open in September, why wouldn't we just build more turfs?" asked Watts.

Local soccer officials said they are happy the stadium proposal is still alive.

"We've seen it happen across the country before, and we're confident that Halifax would prove no different if this stadium comes, it would be a benefit to us in the soccer community, definitely," said Tanya Colburn for Soccer Nova Scoita.

If Halifax wants to remain in the running as a host city for the FIFA World Women's Soccer Event in 2015, it has to make a final decision on the construction of a stadium by December.