Metro Posted May 23, 2005 Share Posted May 23, 2005 Another Star article about Vaghan Mayor Michael Di Biase wishing to build the proposed Toronto stadium in his city: Vaughan wants to build soccer stadium City tries to save project scrapped by York U Venue would host FIFA's 2007 under-20 tourney GAIL SWAINSON STAFF REPORTER Vaughan is taking a serious look at building a soccer stadium on city land to replace the scrapped York University project, Mayor Michael Di Biase says, "We are really trying to save this," Di Biase said in an interview. "I'm prepared to do whatever it takes." Almost two weeks ago, York University cancelled plans to build a 20,000-seat soccer stadium. The stadium was to host the 2007 FIFA under-20 soccer championships, along with other cities across the country. It is the biggest soccer tournament ever held in Canada and the second largest held by FIFA, after the World Cup. Last week, Vaughan's committee of the whole endorsed a motion authorizing the city to meet with federal and provincial officials in the hopes of building a 15,000-seat venue. The politicians will request that $35 million in funding pledged to the York project be shifted to the Vaughan venue. City staff have also been asked to seek out potential funding partners in the private sector. The proposed stadium would be located at the Vaughan Grove Sports Park on Martin Grove Rd. south of Highway 7. The site, owned by the province but leased by the city for 99 years, has a small stadium and eight outdoor pitches used primarily by local teams. Vaughan politicians believe they can deliver a scaled-down soccer stadium on their own site using just the promised $35 million in government funding, Di Biase said. "We have to try. Greater Toronto just can't afford to lose this stadium or this tournament," he said. Earlier this month, the Toronto Argonauts pulled out of plans to build a $70 million, 25,000-seat stadium at York University. The federal and provincial governments had pledged $35 million in funding, the Argonauts were kicking in $20 million and the university $15 million. York would have owned the facility with the Argos managing and operating it. But the Canadian Football League announced that it had reached a deal to remain at the Rogers Centre. When the Argos pulled out of the deal, York looked instead at building a 20,000-seat stadium, to cost about $50 million. But on May 12, York announced it had shelved plans for the soccer stadium, saying it couldn't meet tight deadlines. Toronto, along with Edmonton, was to be a primary host for the 2007 tournament, a three-week, 24-nation, 52-match event for men from around the world under age 20. Ottawa, Montreal, Victoria and Vancouver are also hosts.Toronto, scheduled as headquarters for the tournament, would have had about a dozen matches. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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