FHC Writes to Ms. Maggie MacDonald, HRM Executive Director Parks & Recreation

FHC sent a letter to HRM’s Executive Director of Parks & Recreation Ms Maggie MacDonald to with information for her use in writing a staff report for the HRM Standing Committee on Community Planning and Economic Development about the Wanderers Grounds, particularly in the context of the proposal Mr. Derek Martin made for a long-term lease of a publicly funded stadium.

As the matter of the public funding stadiums is as yet untested in Halifax we recommend the Journal of Economic Surveys’ February 2022 article, The Impact of Professional Sports Franchises and Venues on Local Economies: A Comprehensive Survey. This recent analysis of 130 studies on the economic impact of publicly financed sports venue…

“…confirms the decades-old consensus of very limited economic impacts of professional sports teams and stadiums. Even with added non-pecuniary social benefits from quality-of-life externalities and civic pride, welfare improvements from hosting teams tend to fall well short of covering public outlays. Thus, the large subsidies commonly devoted to constructing professional sports venues are not justified as worthwhile public investments.”

The FHC letter include comments on public engagement; setting, design, turf; 2017 HRM staff report; future expansion; the Common as green space; health and environment; the 2023 FHC submission #5 Feb 2023 CPED on Master Plan; and, a letter of objection from Friends of the Public Gardens (Letter_HRM_WanderersGrounds)

Derek Martin/SEA’s ask for $40 million of public money for his permanent stadium to further privatize the Wanderers Grounds for thirty years came at the same week that HRM Council debated designating two North Common baseball diamonds as tent sites for the homeless.

Here’s the letter:2023 FHC Wanderers Stadium, Ms. Macdonald