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September 10, 2005
The sixth day is for football
A couple of soccer stadium news items this week, so let's get to it:
- When is a subsidy not a subsidy? The Chicago suburb of Bridgeview has approved the sale of $155 million in bonds to build a new soccer-only stadium for the Chicago Fire. But is this really a public cost, or an investment that taxpayers will earn back? Bridgeview Mayor Steve Landek says the bonds will be entirely repaid by the city's share of stadium revenues, including ticket sales, concessions, parking fees and naming rights; other reports, though, have the stadium receiving tax increment financing, which would effectively divert city tax revenue to pay for the project. More on this as the financing details become clearer.
- No sooner had the Canadian Soccer Association selected federally owned Downsview Park as the new site for its stalled Toronto stadium than Toronto Mayor David Miller declared that'd happen over his dead body. Added city councillor Maria Augimeri (York Centre), whose district - okay, riding - includes Downsview: "It's a total shock to me and my constituents. They haven't been consulted on this at all. It's 20,000 extra people coming into a community that doesn't have the infrastructure to handle it. I'd be willing to go to court on this issue, I really would."