Selinger: scaled down stadium not wanted

PAUL TURENNE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:10 PM ET

Premier Greg Selinger said Friday that scaling down the design of a new football stadium in order to save money is not something he wants to see done.

"People have been very clear they want a good quality stadium. It's a 50-year decision and we want to get it right," Selinger said.

The premier was responding to news that, now that all the tenders are in, the new stadium in the works at the University of Manitoba could cost upwards of $160 million, compared with an original estimate of $115 million.

Selinger said he has not had a hard number put in front of him on paper, but confirmed that "what I've heard is $160 million or higher."

He said he expects to sit down with the project's other stakeholders — the U of M, the city, the Blue Bombers, and developer David Asper and his Creswin group — in the next four to five days to discuss what to do about the need to finance another $45 million or more to complete the stadium.

"We're looking forward to the ideas coming forward from the Bombers and Creswin and Asper, and we'll see what we can do," Selinger said. "It's not totally unexpected but I'm looking forward to seeing what the final numbers are and the proposals to address them. One thing we do know is there's a great desire to have a new stadium."

Selinger said he'd prefer to have any additional provincial money for the project coming from new revenue streams rather than the existing provincial budget, but reiterated that no proposals have yet been put to him asking for any more money or anything else.


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