Staff report rejects proposed site for potential Halifax CFL stadium

Staff report rejects proposed site for potential Halifax CFL stadium

HALIFAX — A report prepared for Halifax Regional Council recommends the rejection of a proposed CFL stadium in the city’s Shannon Park neighbourhood, but also says a one-time payment of $20-million could be made for a facility elsewhere.

The document prepared by Chief Administrative Officer Jacques Dube says the current proposed site, on land formerly used for military housing near the city’s MacKay Bridge, is “not conducive to a robust transportation plan.”

“The CAO and his team do not recommend that regional council provide a one-time contribution for a stadium at that site,” the report states.

Dube’s report says the site is severely encumbered by a CN rail line, and the bridge would require an extensive public infrastructure investment. It says the municipality would likely need to invest in a new ferry terminal nearby and three new ferries, adding tens of millions of dollars in additional costs.

“Additional work is needed to resolve these concerns and doing so in the absence of a comprehensive development plan and developer for the site is very difficult to conceive,” the report says.

Schooner Sports and Entertainment (SSE) is proposing a 24,000 seat stadium for the Shannon Park site at an estimated cost of $110-million.

The report says while such a stadium would add valuable infrastructure to the city, the financial options proposed by SSE would require a considerable amount of public funds that are dependent upon the success of an “untested Halifax CFL franchise and Halifax market.”

SSE has asked for $41-million to $79-million, according to the report.

It says the business group’s proposal assumes it will sell 21,600 tickets for each of 10 scheduled CFL games, or 96 per cent of stadium capacity.

“In comparison to attendance levels to other CFL teams in Canada, the CAO and his staff team believes that these attendance figures are aggressive,” the report says.

In order to break even, Dube said, SSE would have to hit the 70 per cent mark in sales per game.

“The options proposed present considerable risk to the municipal taxpayer.”

However, it’s noted that a partnership with the private sector sponsor offers a chance to build a stadium with the private partner carrying the majority of the cost and the risk.

“As such, the CAO is recommending a one-time payment of $20-million upon substantial completion of the stadium.”

Staff recommends the city take no ownership in the stadium, make no loan guarantee and not cover ongoing capital or maintenance costs.

In a statement released Friday, SSE’s founding partner Anthony LeBlanc said his group welcomes the recommendation from municipal staff.

“We appreciate the due diligence (HRM) staff have exercised in this process and support the considerations raised regarding site selection for this important community project,” LeBlanc said. ”We look forward to receiving council’s decision on whether to approve this recommendation and we stand ready to work diligently with staff and the community to ensure the success of this game-changing community development.”

SSE’s proposal was updated last month after it was nearly quashed by regional council in October.

The revised proposal would see it contribute tens of millions of dollars towards stadium construction, fund all ongoing capital expenses, and be responsible for all operational expenses regardless of who owns the stadium.

Regional council is to meet Tuesday to discuss the staff report, which was posted online as part of council’s upcoming agenda.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta had 1,571 active COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta’s central zone now has 1,101 active COVID-19 cases

Provincial death toll has risen by nine

Dustin Mitchell (Coats) is wanted by police in relation to a homicide this past Wednesday. (Photo contributed by Red Deer RCMP)
Red Deer RCMP looking for man in relation to homicide

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Red Deer man in… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

Collin Orthner, manager at McBain Camera in downtown Red Deer, stands behind the store’s counter on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
A few Red Deer businesses happy with Black Friday results

While this year’s Black Friday wasn’t as successful as it was in… Continue reading

Le Chateau Inc. is the latest Canadian firm to start producing personal protective equipment for health care workers, in a July 3, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Hundreds of millions of dollars for frontline workers yet to be released, says Alberta Federation of Labour

Information recently released by the Alberta Federation of Labour suggests more than… Continue reading

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks during a news conference Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 in Ottawa. Poilievre says building up the Canadian economy post-pandemic can't be achieved without a massive overhaul of the tax system and regulatory regime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservatives attack Trudeau’s ‘reset’ but they have ideas for their own

‘We don’t need subsidized corporate welfare schemes that rely on endless bailouts from the taxpayer’

In this undated photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Moderna chairman says Canada near head of line for 20 million vaccine doses

Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated

There were 47 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
Spread of COVID-19 in Brampton, Ont., linked to systemic factors, experts say

‘We’re tired. We’re numb. We’re overworked. We’re frustrated, because it’s not our rules’

The courthouse in Iqaluit is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Three Nunavut judges, including the chief justice, are at odds over whether prison conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic should be considered when sentencing offenders in the territory. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Emma Tranter
Nunavut judges disagree on how to sentence offenders during pandemic

IQALUIT — Three Nunavut judges, including the territory’s chief justice, are at… Continue reading

A corrections officer opens the door to a cell in the segregation unit at the federal Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Independent reviews of the hundreds of inmates placed in segregation over the past year found only a handful were inappropriate, new government data indicate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Few federal inmates moved from solitary after external reviews, new data show

‘There can be rare cases where the removal may not be immediate’

A couple embrace during a ceremony to mark the end of a makeshift memorial for victims of the Toronto van attack, at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. in Toronto on Sunday, June 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
‘I’ve been spared a lot,’ van attack survivor says as she watches trial alone

Court has set up a private room for victims and families of those killed in the Toronto van attack

Banff National Park. (The Canadian Press)
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

EDMONTON — A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths on railway tracks… Continue reading

Cows on pasture at the University of Vermont dairy farm eat hay Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. Canadian dairy farmers are demanding compensation from the government because of losses to their industry they say have been caused by a series of international trade deals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lisa Rathke
Feds unveil more funding for dairy, poultry and egg farmers hurt by free trade deals

OTTAWA — Canadian egg and poultry farmers who’ve lost domestic market share… Continue reading

Most Read