Working out the details

David Asper is waiting for a report concerning the design for the new football stadium. (Sun...

David Asper is waiting for a report concerning the design for the new football stadium. (Sun File/Marcel Cretain)

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

Although the progress has been slow, details for plans to erect a new football stadium in Winnipeg should be unveiled as soon as next month.

"I think it will all start to unfold next month," David Asper of CanWest Global, said yesterday.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers accepted Asper's proposal to build a $120 million facility at the current location of Canad Inns Stadium earlier this year.

Asper offered to pony up $40 million, hoping both the federal and provincial governments would match it. Asper would also invest $25 million to add a retail development on the site.

But first, Asper is awaiting a report concerning the stadium design.

"We are doing our due diligence," he said. "The overall report will include financial and legal details, then we will apply them to the stadium designers. Then we'll sit down and say, 'OK, does it work the way we envisioned it? Does it make sense?' "

Asper expects that report within the next two weeks. If satisfied, Asper will then sit down with reps of the governments that he hopes will become partners.

Although MP Vic Toews has publicly expressed some reluctance to commit public money to the project that will essentially make Asper a private owner of the local CFL club, Asper did not seem concerned.

WE'LL LISTEN

"I gave Vic a briefing in January and he said, 'When you're ready to make a presentation, we'll listen,' " said the former Bomber board chair. "I have no problem with Vic being careful with public money."

Manitoba Premier Gary Doer has already expressed his willingness to support the project, Asper added.

Although Bomber board members had been helping Asper gather the necessary details, that process slowed when they turned their attention to running the club once the season started.

"Then we got into summer," Asper said apologetically. "This is the tough sledding you go through to come up with a plan."

Asper had originally hoped to have the new digs up during the 2008 season.

"Everything goes slower than I want it to, it's just the reality of the situation," he said. "As an investor, I want to know in detail what I'm getting into. And I've got to understand all the potential risks. It's a ton of money."

The Bombers have been hoping to either build a new stadium or re-build the current facility for years as the present structure is badly in need of repair and many of the seats are too cramped. But before the shovels can start digging up dirt, Asper will need a financial commitment from the various governments, which could also take some time.


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