Blue high on proposals

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Ken Hildahl caught a glimpse of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' future yesterday, and he is excited by what he saw.

The Winnipeg Football Club chairman and his five-member subcommittee will have three proposals to ponder over the next month as it pertains to the redevelopment of the 54-year-old Canad Inns Stadium and its surrounding area.

The total of three proposals includes David Asper's $145-million bid he made public in January, which means Hildahl and Co., saw two new proposals yesterday at BDO Dunwoody's Winnipeg office.

The advisory firm accepted the expressions of interest on behalf of the club and presented them to the subcommittee yesterday.

"There's been enough discussion and debate in the community over the last two to three months that we weren't overwhelmed and we certainly weren't underwhelmed," Hildahl said. "It's pretty much as we expected, but they're all exciting."

The two new proposals are cloaked in the secrecy of confidentiality agreements, but Hildahl said they both have local connections. It's believed Canad Inns Corporation is behind one of them.

"One has to be obviously somewhat cautious in how they approach it, but it's a very exciting process to be going through," Hildahl said. "Hopefully it produces some fruit at the end of the cycle. It's a good look at the future, and there's some very, very exciting options that we're looking at.

"... There's some very distinct characteristics to all of them. Each has their own appeal, and each has their own detractions."

Hildahl and the subcommittee will spend the next few weeks interviewing the bid applicants.

"My objective is to provide a pretty good preliminary report to the board in mid-April, and if we can be in a position to make a firm recommendation, that'd be great, but certainly move the process along," he said.

LATE HITS: Bombers SB Milt Stegall will be at the team's free-agent camp in Atlanta tomorrow, and GM Brendan Taman said the all-star will have some input. The same goes for LB Barrin Simpson, who will be at the camp in Jackson, Miss., on Saturday ... The Gazette reported yesterday that free-agent safety Shawn Gallant, who spent the last two seasons with the Bombers, is about to sign with the Montreal Alouettes.


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