WINNIPEG – Winnipeg’s mayor says the city is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to helping the Winnipeg Football Club pay for transit buses to and from games and events at the stadium.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are asking for funding of $750,000 for this year and $950,000 in 2015 for transit costs.
Sam Katz told reporters Wednesday that Wade Miller, Bombers president and CEO, approached the city a few months ago asking for financial help.
The Bombers learned the hard way last year that they needed a lot more transit buses than initially anticipated: the team’s first-ever game at the new Investors Group Field was marred by traffic jams and long waits for buses.
Katz said city officials suggested the Bombers cover the extra transit costs by increasing the price of tickets to Winnipeg Blue Bomber games, but the football club refused.
Katz also said the Bombers really didn’t have a strong alternative if taxpayer funding wasn’t secured for transit costs.
The proposed funding would be split 50/50 between the city and province.
City council has to approve the funding. The mayor anticipates it will pass.
The mayor also said in the past few weeks Miller has been meeting with city councillors individually.