By Paul Fitzgerald – As Mayor, candidate Dil Muhammad will promote Argo ownership for city and build new Mississauga stadium.
“It’s obvious Toronto has failed the team. After many years of trying to make it go, it’s time the Argos had a home that really wants it, where it can flourish,” Muhammad says.
The Mississauga Argos will generate pride, identity, and help promote the city, according to Muhammad, a long-time resident and well-respected local business man in the healthcare field.
“Why not”? He says. “Look at all the Fortune 500 businesses already here to support a team. We have more people in our city than many CFL teams already, I will get it done.”
“As Mayor, I’ll immediately start clearing the path for pre-approval of a new 25,000 seat stadium,” he says.
Muhammad is keen on making Mississauga the world’s most healthy city and attracting a major sports franchise is part of his strategy.
“The Argo’s need a stadium that meets their needs and we need a venue to attract mega events. It will be a perfect partnership.”
Mississauga previously lost out on the competition to build Pan American Games stadiums to Hamilton and York University.
While it’s unlikely that the city will be able to fund construction on its own, there are two sites that were looked at for the Pan AM Games.
“We’ll look to organize a consortium of the Argos, the city, a number of brand sponsors, a developer and a parking concession and consider municipal bonds to fund construction,” he says.
“The stadium will be a great resource to attract international soccer, rugby and cricket competitions as well as track and field events, the Metro Bowl football championship, music concerts and festivals and religious events.”
Where will the money come from?
Along with the sources noted above, it is anticipated that the stadium development might include retail development, a hotel and residential projects that will support the stadium.
Who will own it?
“I don’t really care, so long as it’s built and well managed. We want the resource to create more wealth in the city, not as a white elephant. I expect it will be privately owned and managed for a profit by a carefully selected partner”
Muhammad’s other plans include making Mississauga the healthiest city in the country through workplace stroke and heart attack prevention. “Most heart attacks occur in the work place. We can help prevent that – I will save Mississauga millions in that area alone making Mississauga a model for other cities to follow”.
Muhammad also believes he can also save millions by pro-active care and awareness to prevent hip and knee replacements and that these initiatives can originate in Mississauga and expand.
Muhammad explains: “Good ideas are always welcome when it comes to healthcare. Life and death issues are too important to just leave to the Province. I will implement the ideas and workplace policies with common-sense right here in Mississauga”