News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 14, 2021

MANITOBA PROPOSES NEW AGREEMENT TO SECURE THE FUTURE OF IG FIELD

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Proposal will Protect Long-Term Viability of Major Community Asset: Fielding

The Manitoba government is proposing a new agreement between the province, Triple B Stadium Inc., and the Winnipeg Football Club in order to protect and sustain the viability of IG Field, Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

“The arrangement originally put in place by the former government was poorly designed and exposes all parties involved to an unacceptable level of risk,” said Fielding. “IG Field is a valuable community asset and it needs to be protected. This new agreement will give the users of IG Field the security they need while reducing the financial risk to Manitoba taxpayers.”

In 2011, the former provincial government approved two loans to Triple B Stadium Inc., a corporation consisting of the University of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Football Club, for the construction of a new stadium located at the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry Campus. Agreements were made for repayment of the $160-million construction loans through two simultaneous methods: $75 million was repayable over 25 years based off of redevelopment of the former stadium site at Polo Park, and $85 million was to be repaid between 2014 and 2058 from revenue generated by the Winnipeg Football Club. An additional loan of up to $35 million was issued in 2019 to fund repairs and litigation that is ongoing, relating to construction and design issues.

In 2018, a review was commissioned to assist the Triple B and IG Field stakeholders to identify and establish necessary capital funding to maintain a fund for annual capital costs. At the same time, the provincial comptroller reviewed the financial data and came to the conclusion the construction loans were not on track for repayment and that substantial oversights in the original deal did not account for annual ongoing capital maintenance costs of the facility.

Although the Winnipeg Football Club and Triple B have complied with their obligations under the agreement set up by the former government and have made all payments as required, the current capital fund to maintain IG Field remains with no balance, and the existing agreement set up by the former government has no mechanism to adequately sustain this fund going forward.

The new agreement addresses the serious flaws in the deals made by the former government and fulfils a commitment of the current government to restructure the IG Field arrangement to make it more transparent and sustainable for taxpayers and the Winnipeg Football Club.

Under the new agreement, a capital account of $10 million from the Province of Manitoba is established for funding of ongoing capital repairs to IG Field with the Winnipeg Football Club responsible for managing it and keeping the facility in a reasonable state of repair. Manitoba will also assume the litigation related to construction deficiencies and will retain any recoveries from this litigation.

As part of this new agreement, the City of Winnipeg is being asked to modify the legal obligations of Triple B so the entertainment funding taxes and facility fees on tickets sold can be applied for purposes other than the construction loan-related payments. The city is also asked to agree that, going forward, the entertainment taxes and facility fees charged by the Winnipeg Football Club on tickets to events can be retained by the Winnipeg Football Club for, among other things, IG Field capital fund contributions and stadium operations.

“We look forward to working with all parties involved and moving forward with this new agreement,” said Fielding. “Together, we can address the substantial problems of the original deal while ensuring that IG Field remains a viable and sustainable community asset for years to come.”

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