By Theresa Ketterling
Halifax submitted its bid to become a host city in early December, along with Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal, Moncton, Winnipeg and Ottawa.
Seven candidates trying for six places seems like good odds, but Halifax is the only candidate city currently without a stadium.
Grant McDonald of Events Nova Scotia says plans for a new stadium might give Halifax an advantage over other cities.
|Conceptual drawings of a new stadium that would seat 20 000, presented to HRM in December. In the cover letter WHW Architects say it is reasonable to expect a stadium to cost $3500 per permanent seat.
|An overview of FIFA’s requirements for bid cities. Grant McDonald of Events Nova Scotia says the only thing Halifax lacks is a stadium.
|HRM news release regarding Canada’s successful bid to host the Women’s World Cup.
|HRM news release about the appointment of the steering committee, including a list of members.|
“Any exisiting facilities will be looking to perhaps try to add pieces of infrastructure in order to meet the technical requirements, whereas we’ll be able to build to those specifications.”
Planning for a stadium is still in Phase 1. It involves a feasibility study but does not guarantee that a stadium will be built.
Halifax Regional Council will make that decision in June or July, says Betty Lou Killen, manager of the Stadium Analysis Project for HRM.
Council will be advised by a committee, composed of council members, representatives of government, and citizens.
Killen says the committee is composed of “people who are invested in making sure HRM is a great place to live.”
More than 80 people applied for the committee’s six citizen positions, a number Killen calls “record-breaking.”
The committee will review all relevant information regarding the construction of a stadium, oversee studies and consultations, and make recommendations to council.
This summer it will make a recommendation supporting or opposing the construction of a stadium.
Council will make the ultimate decision. If it decides in favour of a stadium, Phase 2 will involve site selection and design consultation. Construction could begin early next year.
FIFA will be visiting all the candidate cities this fall, says McDonald. If stadium construction has moved into Phase 2, FIFA representatives will be able to look at stadium plans and meet with various levels of government as well as the Canadian Soccer Association, he says.
Each of the chosen cities will play host to seven games over 17 days.
The U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2014 has automatically been awarded to Canada as well, and will serve as a test event for the host cities.