As the business group behind a bid to bring a CFL franchise to Halifax begin a new search for a location to build a stadium — the site they had hoped would be their home prepares to move on without them.
Halifax Regional Council voted 10-to-7 on Tuesday in favour of a one-time $20-million contribution to Schooner Sports and Entertainment (SSE) for the construction of a community stadium — provided that certain conditions are met.
Those conditions include finding a location that is not Shannon Park, a former military housing complex in Dartmouth, N.S.
SSE had proposed the construction of a $110-million, 24,000-seat stadium in Shannon Park but a staff report recommended against the site in favour of finding another location.
The staff document said the proposed Shannon Park site is severely encumbered by a CN rail line and poor transportation access, meaning the municipality would likely have had to invest in a new ferry terminal nearby and three new ferries, adding tens of millions of dollars in costs.
The Canada Lands Company, who owns the property, announced in a newsletter on Friday that they “look forward” to working with Halifax municipal staff with “approval of the original master plan for Shannon Park that was developed with significant public engagement and submitted to the municipality in 2016.”
That master plan went out the window after Canada Lands signed a letter of intent with SSE about a stadium in April.
But that letter of intent is now defunct, given this week’s council vote.
Canada Lands and the Millbrook First Nation, who have land rights to Shannon Park, must now wait for the municipality’s next step.