Maple Leafs parent company asks for $30 million in public help to upgrade BMO Field

Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment would use $30 million in public money with a guarantee to pay it back

The wraps are off a proposed deal that could eventually see the Toronto Argonauts move into the stadium at Exhibition Place.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment wants to spend an estimated $120 million dollars to upgrade BMO Field.

The proposed project calls for 10,000 new seats to be added to the stadium to bring the facility's capacity up to 30,000 in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

Another 10,000 retractable seats would be built for concerts and other special events.

Later on, a partial roof would be added to shelter the stands.

The Argos are looking for a new home as their contract with Rogers Centre expires in 2017 -- a lease that will not be renewed.

A proposal that goes before City Hall's Executive Committee next week calls for $30 million in public money to be contributed, with a guarantee MLSE will pay the money back, over time.

The $30 million would be split 3 ways -- $10 million each from the municipal, provincial, and federal governments.

"To me, it's a no-brainer," says city councillor and Exhibition Place Board Chair Mark Grimes, "I think it's a good deal for the city.  We own the asset.  I stand behind it 100 percent."

Grimes adds any construction cost over-runs will be paid for solely by the company.

In addition to possibly hosting the Argos to BMO Field, the councillor hopes the facility will could be used to lure an NHL Winter Classic outdoor game, as well as concerts and other high-profile events.

The BMO Field proposal will have to pass at least 2 votes at city hall before the deal is signed.

Leave a comment:

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  1. G man posted on 03/13/2014 09:33 AM
    Loan MLSE the money, with an interest rate equal to the percentage increase in Leafs ticket prices over the last 10 years. However, they will also be required to sign a long-term lease with the Argos.
  2. SojBee posted on 03/13/2014 10:04 AM
    ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Let them speak to their share holders, or sell stocks to raise the money. Stupid request to start with!
  3. jd posted on 03/18/2014 02:00 PM
    Is the financial position at MLSE so precarious that they are unable to go to the bank, and lend money from the bank?

    Just asking.....
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