B.C. Budget 2013: Grey Cup may return to BC Place in 2014

The Grey Cup could return to BC Place stadium in 2014.

BC Place

The Grey Cup could return to BC Place stadium in 2014.

The service plan for BC Pavilion Corp. (PavCo), released with today's budget, shows a $2.7 million contribution from the provincial government "to assist in securing an event in 2014."

The $2.7 million figure also shows up beside "contribution for Grey Cup" in the 2012-13 fiscal forecast.

"Fiscal 2013 revenues include a government contribution to assist in securing an event in 2014," says a footnote in the report.

"Business development expense for fiscal 2013 includes a cost of $2.7 million to secure rights to host an event in 2014."

Canadian Football League communications director Jamie Dykstra told Business in Vancouver, "A decision on the host city for the 102nd Grey Cup in 2014 has not been made yet.

"I can confirm B.C. has expressed interest in hosting it."

A prepared statement provided to BIV and credited to PavCo interim CEO Dana Hayden said, “PavCo sometimes requests financial support from government to secure events that bring significant benefit to B.C., both to the tourism industry and overall economy. The BC Lions have submitted a bid for the 2014 Grey Cup, with a commitment of financial support from the Province if they are successful. Other jurisdictions have also done so. Should British Columbia secure the Grey Cup, PavCo will make an announcement.”

PavCo paid the CFL $1.8 million for hosting rights to the 2011 game. The BC Lions won the showcase event of the stadium's reopening from a $514 million renovation.

Ottawa was conditionally awarded the 2014 game in 2008, but its new stadium may not be ready until summer 2014. The new $200 million stadium in Winnipeg is also a possible site. The new home of the Blue Bombers was supposed to be open for the 2012 season, but the Bombers remained at Canad Inns Stadium, which last hosted the Grey Cup in 2006.

Coincidentally, Winnipeg stadium builder Stuart Olson Dominion is suing steel roof and bleachers supplier Canam Group for $15.3 million. Canam was the steel contractor hired by PCL Constructors Westcoast for the BC Place project. Canam is suing cable supplier Freyssinet for $39 million in the BC Supreme Court after incurring cost overruns on BC Place.

The three-year service plan for BC Place contemplates $87.05 million of deficits through 2015-16.

The plan cites "overbuilding of convention and sporting facilities in many jurisdictions has increased competition for business, especially during the times of economic downturn."

BMackin@biv.com

@bobmackin

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