Stadium Site Selection Process Needed
Given that Schooners Sport and Entertainment is asking for public sector funding for a stadium, it is incumbent upon governments to assess all risks, including the technical and locational factors that SSE used in its decision to select Shannon Park as its preferred location.
In Nova Scotia, optimum locations for new schools (and many other facilities) are determined by using a site selection process where a wide range of criteria is assessed at multiple locations.
Technical and locational factors are thoroughly reviewed and scored for multiple sites, not only to help quantify development risks, but also, to build transparency and public confidence in how and why site decisions are being made.
Given this level of scrutiny for siting new schools, why should we expect anything less for a major infrastructure project if public funding is going to be involved?
If governments will be assuming any financial risk for a stadium, a review of technical and locational criteria at multiple sites would be consistent with current practice and this will allow governments to assess SSE’s preferred site in comparison with others.
Since this is a review of technical factors, opinion polls or public consultation aren’t involved; however, it is noted that Canada Lands Company had previously conducted a public consultation process for Shannon Park.
The gap between the public’s vision for Shannon Park (for affordable/mixed income housing) and the private vision (for a stadium) implies that a review of potential locations for a stadium is all the more necessary.