York, CSA reviewing options

MIKE KOREEN and TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

The proposed outdoor stadium at York University may not see the light of day.

While the Canadian Soccer Association remains optimistic a downsized 20,000-seat stadium will be ready for the 2007 world under-20 soccer championship, the Argos' decision to remain at the Rogers Centre could quash York's plans.

"We finally got confirmation from the Argos and we've got work to do (in terms of) funding," Gary Brewer, York's vice-president of finance and administration, said yesterday. "We're reviewing options and working through it."

At no point did Brewer say the stadium is a sure thing.

The Ontario government, which is slated to contribute $8 million, seems to be concerned about plans for building a stadium without the Argos, who were expected to dish out $20 million. The province is planning to talk with York about the stadium's future now that the Argos are no longer in the equation. Government officials said their financial commitment hinged on the soccer tournament, but recognize that the Argos' decision could change things for the university.

CSA chief operating officer Kevan Pipe, however, does not think the tournament is in jeopardy. He said rumours that York might not want the stadium are "unequivocally untrue.

"I have been in daily contact with York, I've been in weekly contact with York, it is frustrating that after six months of working with a business partner, that a business partner has pulled out. That is incredibly frustrating."

Pipe said the plan is to build a simpler 20,000-seat complex, instead of a 25,000-seat facility.

"We are very optimistic about our abilities to ensure this stadium is built," Pipe said.

The CSA will unveil the four cities that will co-host the tournament with Toronto and Edmonton tomorrow. He said the Montreal Impact has scheduled a news conference for tomorrow, meaning that city likely is one of the choices.


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