SBD/March 20, 2014/Facilities

Toronto's Exec Committee Endorses Plan To Contribute C$10M To BMO Field Expansion

The city of Toronto's Exec Committee "has endorsed" putting $10M (all figures Canadian) toward the $120M expansion of BMO Field, which would be used by MLS Toronto FC and possibly the CFL Argonauts, according to Paul Moloney of the TORONTO STAR. Mayor Rob Ford was the only Exec Committee member yesterday to vote "against the deal with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment," but he did not explain why. The expansion "would see the stadium seating go to 30,000 from 21,566," but it "is not a done deal" because MLSE also is seeking $10M each from the provincial and federal governments. MLSE Chief Project Development Officer Robert Hunter said that the company is "putting up" $90M towards the $120M project. He said receipt of $30M from the government "is contingent on the project going ahead." City Deputy Mayor and Exec Committee Chair Norm Kelly said that the chance to "give the Argos a new home was an attractive element of the deal" (TORONTO STAR, 3/20). In Toronto, Don Peat cited city officials as stressing that MLSE "would be on the hook for any cost overruns." Hunter said that a key objective is to "ensure soccer games are not affected by BMO Field’s expansion." MLSE said that its plans "call for BMO Field to retain its grass turf" (TORONTO SUN, 3/20). Hunter said that a deal with the Argos "is in the works, but added that 'there is a home for the Argos'" (NATIONAL POST, 3/20).
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