Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger is defending a loan guarantee of $35.3 million to repair Winnipeg’s new foot- ball stadium and is facing a call for the auditor general to investigate its con- struction, CTV News has reported.
The money is to be used to fix prob- lems that surfaced after Investors Group Field opened three years ago at a cost of $209 million – almost $100 million over budget. The loan guarantee will allow repairs to begin immedi- ately following the CFL Grey Cup game next month, Selinger said.
“It makes sense to provide a loan guarantee to have the cash flow that will allow the stadium to be fixed up as soon as possible, because that will re- duce the cost to everybody going for- ward,” he said. “It’s a safe stadium right now. We’ve been assured of that.”
The stadium has been plagued by leaks, insufficient insulation to keep plumbing working in winter and poor drainage. It also needed immediate renovations to make it usable for concerts and to heat the press box. More than $4 million has already been spent for repairs to ceilings and concrete.
The Triple B Stadium consortium owns the stadium, comprising the city, province, Winnipeg Football Club and University of Manitoba, where the sta- dium is located. Triple B has filed a law- suit claiming the architect and builder should be made to pay for the exten- sive repairs the owners allege were due to faulty design and construction.
Construction company Stuart Olson, in turn, alleges that the provincial government approved the design without regard for such issues, according to published reports.