Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Domed Stadium, $140 million and counting...

CTF says no to stadium without referendum

REGINA: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is urging the City of Regina and the provincial government to show caution and consult widely regarding any renovation or replacement of Mosaic Stadium.

“The Roughriders and the private sector need to carry the bulk of the financial burden for an upgrade or replacement for Mosaic Stadium,” said Lee Harding, Saskatchewan Director for the CTF. “This is a major capital investment with debatable returns.”

“Given that taxpayers are already dishing out for a $60 million expansion of Evraz Place, should they also be on the hook for a stadium expansion?” Harding asked. “If Regina wants the next higher tier of artists, wouldn’t they perform there instead of a football stadium? As for soccer, isn’t the former Queensbury Downs enough? The Riders are the only ones who fill the stadium we have, and that’s only 10 times per year.”

In July, the City of Regina released its Recreation Facility Strategy to 2020 that called for 12 new capital projects to cost a total of $90 million. On page 50, the report’s authors said they “could not support” a stadium expansion, as it would do little to facilitate more sporting and cultural events, but instead “would divert limited available capital from real community recreation needs and limit the City’s ability to meet them.”

“As for economic spinoffs, politicians should think twice. Economists such has Dennis Coates and Brad Humphreys have shown that there’s no correlation between stadiums, arenas and sports franchises and more jobs, income, and tax revenues.

“This started out with Mosaic Stadium needing $5.8 million of renovations. Then it became a few more seats and amenities for $100 million. Then Riders President Jim Hopson thought for that price, it might as well be a new stadium. Then Mayor Fiacco said, if it’s a new stadium, it should have a dome. Where will this end up?” Harding asked.

“No capital undertaking of this magnitude involving tax dollars should go forward without first obtaining voter approval,” Harding concluded.

***UPDATE*** Click here to listen to Harding discuss the issue on John Gormley Live. He will also be on 620 CKRM at 12:10 Friday Dec. 12 to talk more.

2 comments:

Guy D said...

How about we let Mosaic Stadium get condemned and then let the Riders have no place to play? Organizations such as yours are what holds this province back, sorry but saying that you are fighting for the taxpayer is quite simply a falsehood.

Lee Harding said...

Who's talking about Mosaic getting condemned? The last report said it was structurally sound, but needed $5.8 million for upkeep and small additions. That's a totally different matter.

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