Bread Not Circuses Coalition

Box 139, 365 Roncesvalles Ave.

Toronto, Ontario Canada, M6R 2M8

(416) 410-2267 www.breadnotcircuses.org

 

Reality check: Correcting the record on TO-Bid claims
First in a series - March 10, 2001

Promoters of Toronto's 2008 Olympic point to Toronto's Air Canada Centre as a model for the Olympics. They say ACC was built "on budget and on time".

The truth is that the cost of ACC rose 50% to $265 million, and construction was two years late.

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CLAIM: TO-Bid says Air Canada Centre was built "on budget"
FACT: Cost rose 50% from $175 million to $265 million in four years

On Thursday, Toronto's land use committee pores over the younger Bitove's plans for the Raptors' new 22,500-seat Air Canada Centre basketball/hockey arena, at the heart of a controversial downtown highrise proposal south of Union Station. By Bitove's own estimate, the stadium could cost him up to $175 million. (Toronto Star, May 15, 1995)

Air Canada Centre, the new home of the NHL Maple Leafs and NBA Raptors, at the northwest corner of Bay St. and Lake Shore Blvd.: Total cost was $265 million.
(Toronto Star, Feb 9, 1999)

CLAIM: TO-Bid says Air Canada Centre was built "on time"
FACT: Centre paid fines for two-year delay in construction

The Raptors have failed again in meeting a May 1 deadline they set for the start of digging the foundations for their proposed 22,500-seat Air Canada Centre at the northwest corner of Bay St. and Lake Shore Blvd. (Toronto Star, April 30, 1996)

The Toronto Raptors have finally reached a deal to finance their delayed downtown stadium. But not in time to avoid paying a $1 million penalty on Tuesday. "We will happily pay the $1 million on Tuesday," said team president John Bitove Jr. . . . The stadium was originally due to open during the 1997 National Basketball Association season, but now is not expected to be ready until the start of the 1998 season. (Toronto Star, September 27, 1996)

To no one's surprise, the Raptors have cancelled the ground-breaking ceremony they had scheduled for today at the site of their proposed $200 million basketball stadium, the Air Canada Centre. Officially, it's merely postponed. But there's no telling when or if the Raptors will ever start the project at Bay St. and Lake Shore Blvd. (Toronto Star, November 22, 1996)

Air Canada Centre opening date: Feb. 20, 1999.
(Toronto Star, August 15, 1998)

Bread Not Circuses Coalition
Box 139, 365 Roncesvalles Ave.
Toronto, Ontario Canada, M6R 2M8
Telephone - (416) 410-2267 www.breadnotcircuses.org