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Coalition Says Football Stadium Could Become a Liability

November 23, 2010 7:40 AM | News

A rendering of the future football stadium at the University of Manitoba (BLUEANDGOLD.CA)

A group of residents opposed to the new football stadium at the University of Manitoba say there could be liability issues when it comes to pedestrian safety in the area.

The Fort Richmond Coalition says their neighbourhood has limited sidewalks, increasing the chance of children and pedestrians getting injured. The concerns come from the expected increase in vehicle traffic in both Fort Richmond and University Heights during games.

“All of the communities surrounding the University of Manitoba have limited sidewalks,” said Jeff Fidyk, president of the coalition. “In Fort Richmond there are only three streets with sidewalks on both sides and four streets with sidewalks on one side. This leaves approximately 70 streets with absolutely no sidewalks.”

“In contrast, in the area surrounding the current stadium site adjacent to Polo Park all of the streets have sidewalks on both sides,” Fidyk added.

The group is criticizing the lack of infrastructure to support such a large project and says the nine schools in the area creates an added danger for children who often ride their bikes and walk in the streets.

Opponents of the $160M+ stadium development say they don’t want a tragedy to happen before something is done to increase pedestrian safety when the facility opens.

“Should the inevitable happen, this would leave the taxpayers, province, city and the university open to huge liability lawsuits and another cost increase of this stadium project,” said Fidyk.

An announcement surrounding the increase in funding and the final stadium design is expected soon after stakeholders huddle around the deal, which has taken a turn in recent weeks.

Developer Creswin Properties has been mum recently on their future role in the construction, with many speculating they will remove themselves completely after cost overruns.