Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Toronto City Council set to approve soccer stadium funds

It looks like the Toronto City Council is about to commit $9.5 million towards the construction of a downtown soccer stadium. This stadium must be built fast as it will be used for a July 2007, FIFA world youth tournament. This time limit caused deputy mayor Joe Pantalone to warn that any delays could place the stadium plans on ice for good.

If the council does approve the money at tomorrow's meeting, they will meet MLS commissioner Don Garber deadline for approving the stadium plans, thus setting the stage for a November 12th announcement of an expansion franchise. The question would then become who gets the other proposed expansion team? By the way, it looks like this stadium will cause Saputo Inc. to scale down plans for a soccer stadium they plan on building in Montreal some 335 miles (539 km) away.

In other stadium news, it looks like Real Salt Lake's dreams of a home in Sandy might be hitting some snags. It seems that Real might have to end up paying taxes on the money approved by the state for a parking garage. There is also some confusion about what 10% exclusive use of such a structure means. Adding to this confusion, RSL also jumped the price of the stadium up $10 million to $75m. Happy fun times all around.

Update 8/28: The funding measure past. The council approved the measure 25-13.



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