Winnipeg “Plan B”: Asper out, new stadium still in

So it took more than the promised four or five days, but it looks like the solution to developer David Asper’s $45-million-over-budget stadium plan for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is to keep the stadium plan, but ditch Asper. The Winnipeg Free Press reports today that “officials are now looking at a ‘Plan B’ that would see the redevelopment of the Canad Inns Stadium site by investors other than Asper.”

Details are still extremely sketchy, but the rest of the deal sounds like it remains very similar to the original plan: The current stadium site would be turned over to redevelopment, and property taxes kicked back to pay for construction of the new stadium. (Yes, that’s a TIF. And no, nobody’s saying where the tax money would come from to pay for services to the new development, which is what property taxes are usually used for.) The only difference is that Asper was originally going to try to pay off the stadium debt himself in exchange for gaining control of the team; Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger now says that the Blue Bombers will remain community-owned.

As for how much this will all cost, no details on that yet, either. And there’s still always the possibility that the federal government will come up with its own national sports-facility-funding plan, to placate Quebec hockey arena boosters. Asper may be gone, but the controversies are only just beginning.

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