As I follow the almost daily reports on whether Winnipeg will build a new football stadium in Point Douglas, I’m left wondering if it will ever come to pass.
The story was leaked to the press a couple of weeks ago, well ahead of when it should have been made public. I wonder if the ‘leaker’ was trying to torpedo the project? If so, he or she will probably get what they desired. This is a great example of the story getting out in front its proponents. David Asper, the private developer looking to build the new stadium, seemed to be caught flatfooted. The neighbourhood was shocked to hear about plans to bulldoze their houses… go figure … and the rest of the city was just plain surprised that the Blue Bombers were considering a move to the low track.
Asper and Mayor Sam Katz have tried to catch up to the story, but they haven’t succeeded. It’s out and growing and evolving all on its own. Meanwhile, Asper and the politicians are still wading through all the many details that should have been sorted out before making the story public. The plans will no doubt change a hundred times before this project gets real traction and that, more than anything, will probably end up killing it: a death by a thousand cuts.
This is just one more example of the City of Winnipeg getting caught in a communications disaster. I suspect this is a direct (and costly) result of the current city administration gutting its public relations department.