Brampton could lose cricket stadium to another city after council vote: Mayor


Published June 8, 2022 at 3:51 pm

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says the city may have lost its proposed multi-use cricket stadium to another city after a council referral this week.

A development group in support of the cricket stadium project made their case for fast tracking the project during Wednesday’s committee of council meeting.

The group said it would take between 18 and 24 months to build the proposed 5,000 to 20,000 seat facility at the CAA lands, with a cost of at least $100 million including land purchases and construction.

Advocates asked the city for 60 days of non-binding negotiations to solidify a plan to build the facility in time to be considered as a venue for the 2024 Cricket World Cup.

But city staff said the request amounted to an unsolicited bid, and the hurried timeline didn’t sit well with the majority of council including councillors Harkirat Singh and Martin Mideiros, who raised concerns of green lighting the stadium without a full master plan for the rest of the CAA lands.

“This is a big deal,” Singh said during the meeting. “We’re going to be voting on this and I want to make sure we’re getting the best deal possible.”

RELATED: Almost 70% of residents say no to a new cricket stadium in Brampton

In a report to council on the project, city staff recommended seeking out a public-private-partnership to fund the project – which could see the capital cost of the project paid for by the city, with a public-sector sponsor responsible for design development and maintenance.

Singh issued a motion to refer the report back to staff for more information on how the stadium could impact the development of the entire CAA lands.

The motion passed 6-4 with one absence.

Mayor Patrick Brown and councillors Rowena Santos, Paul Vicent and Michale Palleschi were opposed, while councillors Medeiros, Signh, Pat Fortini, Jeff Bowman and Doug Whillans were in favour.

The absence was due to a vacant seat left by Charmaine Williams, who was elected MPP for Brampton Centre in the provincial election.

Brown, who has been voacl on his support of the project, said the referral could mean Brampton will lose the stadium to another municipality.

“By delaying this, it likely means that the stadium will go to another city,” Brown said, adding that both Burnaby, B.C. and Markham, Ont., have expressed interest in similar facilities.

“I think it may be something we regret,” the mayor added.

Coun. Palleschi agreed with Brown, calling the move “another example of why the public sector is so slow, because councillors can’t make a decision.”

Talks around a new stadium for cricket, soccer, and field hockey began last year with the city considering building the facility.

Preliminary designs for the stadium included a $35 million facility, but the cost of building the complex has now risen at least 40 per cent and could keep climbing.

Palleschi said on Wednesday that the final ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote on the project and how to fund it could fall on the next term of council.

The city has a municipal election in October, and Brown is currently chasing the Conservative Party of Canada leadership.

City staff have been instructed to get an updated report on the stadium and its part in the CAA lands development plan back to council as soon as possible.

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