Empire finds new life

BOB MACKIN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

The temporary stadium coming to the PNE is a fait accompli.

The matter won't be presented to Vancouver city council because it doesn't have to be, said the Pacific National Exhibition's president.

"The operating agreement the PNE has on Hastings Park allows us to do business arrangements and do events here at Hastings Park, including Empire," Mike McDaniel said.

McDaniel said a PNE staff report was approved in principle at the board's early December meeting and a deal was made with B.C. Pavilion Corporation. PNE board meetings are not open to the public.

PNE chairman Raymond Louie, who is also a Vision Vancouver councillor, did not return a 24 hours' phone call.

"It's just so amazing that these large decisions can be made without our council or parks board even being asked," said Hastings Park Conservancy board member David Bornman.

B.C. Pavilion Corporation is paying for the $14.4 million temporary stadium, but the PNE will have costs.

"We're still going back and forth on the budget, we're confident we can make it work and make a little money as well in our 100th anniversary year," McDaniel said.

He said traffic flow and parking will be bigger concerns than noise.

"For the most part we'll mitigate the impacts," McDaniel said.


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