York University issued the following statement on Friday:
York University was surprised to read today that the Argos owners may be considering an offer to play rent-free at the Rogers Centre. The stadium at York University has been planned as the premier venue for soccer in Canada and host-site of the FIFA World Youth Championship Canada 2007. We have been working diligently and professionally for the past several months with Soccer Canada and the Argos and this project was proceeding on budget and on time. York remains committed to providing a first-class venue for its 50,000 students and the youth of the local community.
York’s President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden stated, “We remain deeply committed to our students, the local community and to making the FIFA tournament happen here at York. At this point we are reviewing our options and will be discussing the matter with our Board of Governors.”
The University would like to correct an unsubstantiated report that costs for the stadium had climbed from $70 to $75 million. The project partners working with their expert consultants have developed a range of options that are well within the established budget and timelines for the stadium.
Marsden added: “York University is committed to doing the utmost to bring the benefits of a superb new athletic facility to this part of the GTA and to hosting the FIFA 2007 under-20 world soccer championship, with the support of our partners.”
The construction of a new stadium at York University, located in the heart of the GTA, would bring an estimated economic impact of around $105 million. When staging and spending in the region resulting from the hosting of this international event are included, overall economic impact projections are estimated to be in the region of $168 million.