Blackburn encouraged HRM taking “deeper dive” on stadium

Councillor Lisa Blackburn okay with land incentives; not keen on simply writing a cheque

BEAVER BANK: Councillor Lisa Blackburn is looking forward to HRM taking a “deeper dive” into a CFL team and stadium coming to HRM, and all that it would involve.

Sitting inside Good Day Cafe in Fall River on July 19, the HRM representative for Beaver Bank and area spoke about the request that came to regional council at its July 17 meeting.

“All we did at council was give staff direction to them to start those talks with the Maritime Football League, and have a deeper dive into what a potential stadium could look like for HRM,” she said. “The caveat is that up until this point we have been asked for nothing, zero. It’s just an opportunity for them to present us with a business case so we can have that debate and see where we go from there.”

Blackburn said it will be more a stadium, and based on what the group has done in Ottawa at Lansdowne Park and presumably could include hotels; retail and restaurant, and make it a destination place as opposed to being just a stand-alone stadium.

She does support building a stadium, but not at any cost to taxpayers of HRM.

“I’m good with tax breaks and other sorts of land incentives,” said Blackburn. “Writing a cheque, I’m not too sure about that. They’d have to make a pretty strong business case before I hand over any money.

“A stadium is transformative for a city. I know people in Edmonton, when they got Commonwealth Stadium for the Commonwealth Games it changed that city—and for the better. I think a stadium would bring good things to HRM.”