Most Haligonians think the city could use a large outdoor sports stadium.

The CityThink 2010 survey found 60 per cent of HRM residents mostly or completely agree the city needs a new, larger outdoor sports stadium. Another 36 per cent mostly or completely disagree.

“It’s hard to read into exactly what people are thinking, but I think they view it as if this could get done, we’d love it,” said Fred Morley, executive vice-president of the Greater Halifax Partnership.

“If it can be done in a reasonably cost-efficient way ... it is something people have flagged.”

Craig Wight, senior vice-president at Bristol Omnifacts Research, which conducted the survey, said he views the response as a starting point for more debate on the subject.

“I think it shows (that) yes, there’s interest. (But) if it was my money, I would not be going to develop (a stadium) just based on that,” Wight said. “I would take that as, OK, here’s a starting point.

“Yes, there seems to be interest, (but) how much attendance am I going to get, are they really willing to pay for it themselves — because it is kind of a no-money obligation type of question.”

Morley said with the municipality facing a hefty deficit this year, it will take a big event — as well as federal and provincial involvement — to make a stadium a reality. He pointed to the new arena in Clayton Park under construction for the 2011 Canada Games as an example.

“This isn’t a blank cheque to go out and borrow and spend money all on our own,” said Morley. “What it is is (that) we’ve reached the stage where this is something we should consider as a community.”

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