HALIFAX – The city of Halifax has opted out of building a stadium in Shannon Park
Council voted 9 to 7 in favor of informing Canada Lands Company the city will not be making any offer to purchase sixteen hectares to build a 20,000-seat sports facility.
“We are not at a place now where we can commit to that money,” Mayor Mike Savage said Wednesday.
After much debate, councillors against the project argued the price tag was too high.
“I can’t support anything at this location, the costs are horrendous,” said Councillor Barry Dalrymple
Kevin Lacey, Atlantic director of The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says there is no business case for a stadium right now. He says with significant public investment needed, taxpayers wouldn’t support it.
“It has no major tenant or sports team to fill the stadium on a full time bases, therefore making it economically not feasible,” said Lacey.
Despite the defeat, Mayor Savage, who was in favor of a stadium, cautioned against prematurely voting the idea down saying there are other potential sites.
“Don’t drive a stake in the heart of a stadium if we are not ready right now.”
Savage says he isn’t giving up on the dream. He wants to keep the door open with Canada Lands to purchase land in the future for a possible development in Shannon Park.
“We have a list at the city of strategic capital projects that we have identified which includes not only a stadium but police station, a performing arts centre, tons of different things,” the mayor said.
With the city opting out, Canada Lands will now go ahead with it’s plans to redevelop the site. A mixed-use residential and commercial development are in the works.