Fans worried about a scaled down version of a new football stadium didn’t get that impression Wednesday. Premier Greg Selinger, Mayor Sam Katz, Blue Bomber chair Ken Hildahl, Creswin Properties chair David Asper and U of M president David Barnard gathered at Canad Inns Stadium to hold a news conference outlining plans to bring a new stadium to fruition.
Funding of the $115 million facility on the Fort Garry campus of the University of Manitoba will come from all levels of government. $90 million in bridge financing will come from the provincial government, with Creswin having until 2016 to fully pay it off using revenue generated by The Elms Collection. An additional $22.5 million will go into new fitness facilities at the U of M.
The stadium will be “first class” and play host to a CFL Grey Cup within the next five years, although officials couldn’t guarantee the Bombers would actually win one in that time.
From a fan’s perspective, this new stadium will have increased leg room and be able to hold 33,000 fans, with the capability of expanding to comfortably seat 40,000. It will also include overhead protection for 80% of fans, and an inflatable bubble for use in the winter months.
Shovels will be in the ground by May, Asper noted, but he also said not to hold him to any specific date. The stadium is expected to be ready for the 2012 playing season, which will also be the new home for the University of Manitoba Bisons.
UPDATE: @chrisreid1983 caught this slight mix up of words from Premier Selinger during the announcement. Listen here — we spank you in advance.
Watch highlights below: