Mayor feels 2020 timeline ‘very aggressive’ for CFL team in Halifax

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage believes the 2020 season is too soon for a CFL stadium to be built if the Atlantic region does proceed in getting a franchise and the undertaking of such a building.

“My sense is 2020 is very aggressive. I don’t think we’re going to have a stadium by 2020 under any circumstances. 2020, I don’t see that as a possibility,” Savage said on NEWS 95.7’s The Rick Howe Show.

The Maritime Football Limited group led by Anthony LeBlanc, Bruce Bowser and Gary Drummond are putting a stadium plan together and have narrowed the location to two spots.

“This is a private sector-led proposal. They’re under no obligation to disclose confidential information,” Savage said. 

“We’ve been encouraging the consortium – which I think is a good one – that as soon as we can, we need to get some idea out to the public of where they want to put this, what it’s going to cost, what the city’s role would be, what the province’s role might be, what the private sector role might be.”

Savage admitted he’s heard 200 million dollars is the number, but wondered if a stadium could be built for 150 or 140 million depending on the sacrifices that would have to be made.

“Clearly the municipality and the province would have to pay for this is in some way, but there’s also different ways that we can look at it,” Savage said.

“There aren’t that many cities of our size certainly in Canada that don’t have a facility that can host large sporting events, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to have it.”

The Halifax Mayor did share his view on where the best spot for a stadium.

“Where’s the best place for a stadium, in my view? Shannon Park,” Savage said.

“It’s on the water, it’s beautiful. But as the mayor and as the guardian of the public good here, my favourite location for a stadium is wherever the people who are prepared to make it happen decide that they want to put it.”

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