Halifax Regional Municipality decides to ‘discontinue’ Atlantic Schooners stadium project

Photo courtesy: Schooners Sports and Entertainment

The Halifax Regional Municipality has hit the pause button on the stadium project led by Schooners Sports and Entertainment.

CTV reporter Paul Hollingsworth reports that, given all has been quiet during the pandemic, the HRM funding stadium project has been shelved by the city until further notice.

“We just felt that at this point it wasn’t worth the staff’s time and energy,” District 14 Councillor Lisa Blackburn said.

“It was decided that we were going to discontinue our work on the stadium budget, just because there has been no action or activity on the file for an extended period of time.”

In December 2019, HRM debated the proposed stadium in Atlantic Canada and it ended with council voting 10-7 in favour of funding $20 million for the project. However, government resources have been redirected towards the coronavirus pandemic.

Hollingsworth reports SSE’s stadium momentum has stalled because of COVID-19, but the group still wants to build a venue. They believe that once the CFL returns to action, the timing could be right to resume conversations about CFL expansion.

“This action could be a very good story, and a good way to kick-start the reopening of the CFL with a good news story that, ‘Hey, we’re expanding, we are truly becoming a coast-to-coast league,'” SSE’s David Wallace said.

“The timing could be looked at in a negative way or it could be looked at in a positive way, and we’re looking at it in the latter. We’re still optimistic and going to be moving forward when the time comes.”

Wallace added through Hollingsworth that his group is anxious to resume stadium negotiations in the near future when — and if — the timing is more appropriate post-pandemic.