Sunday, December 06, 2009


City staff are recommending that a site at Highway #5 and Kerns Road known as
City Park be approved as the venue for the Pan Am Games soccer matches. Seven games in the preliminary round plus some contests in the Parapan Games following later in August 2015 would be held here.

We visited the site today.

The Community and Corporate Services Committee is considering the recommendation this Wednesday. Earlier this year it seemed like a good idea to have it at Sherwood Park in southeast Burlington. Then the neighbours got wind of the 1,500 permanent seat stadium and Councillors figured another location closer to where nobody lived – well nobody from Burlington anyway - would be a better idea.

There are issues. Here’s one:

The lands are under the jurisdiction of the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC). I’m thinking the NEC plan didn’t anticipate international games with three soccer fields, one a permanent stadium with an artificial surface with lighting would be locating here.

Not to worry says Burlington staff. Their timetable anticipates approval in principle from the NEC this month – an interesting trick as the Commission isn’t meeting in December. But approval is required before year end or we’re going to look like we didn’t think this one through real well..

I’m struggling with the budget. Does $30 million sound like a lot of taxpayer money when many in our community are struggling?