Symbols taking precedence over financial reality?

The Assembly Committee for Culture Arts and Leisure have interrupted their summer recess to quiz the Minister, the DUP’s Edwin Poots, on progress on the proposals for a multi-sports stadium. The key question to be addressed, I’d suggest, is whether as the Finance Minister, Peter Robison said, “I will look at the business case that’s available,” or whether as the Committee chair, Sinn Féin’s Barry McElduff, argues – echoing an earlier statement from Edwin Poots – “The notion of a shared stadium is central to the notion of a shared future.” Additionally, is that particular flag-ship project an appropriate central notion to be pursuing.. is a symbolic shared future a priority over grass-roots reality.. regardless of the financial viability? Added belowFrom the BBC report

Mr Poots told the committee that consultants had begun work on a final business plan.

This would focus on a number of options including an economic appraisal of the Maze proposal, the “virtual Belfast” option and a cost analysis of refurbishing existing sporting venues.

Ah yes.. let’s get the consultants in..

Adds Statement by Edwin Poots, MLA, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure

  • Spot on – the surreal images of a constantly giggling and euphoric Paisley and McGuinness may reflect their egos and penchant for power and government cars, but the rest of us are living in the real world. Remember Brendan McKenna Rev Dr Paisley? Rev McRea? David Simpson? Or is that now just a little inconvenience, just like the grass roots being troubled in Loughall. The chickens are coming home to roost.

  • steve48

    The provision of a new shared stadium is not core to the creation of a shared future and the demand for the three sports to share a site muddies the waters of the financial implications. Rugby supporters, Gaa supporters and soccer fans will not “mix” at the site and the most likely coming together will be to complain about the ticket prices which no doubt will be sky high to pay for the investment.

  • GavBelfast

    Got it in one, Steve.

    I feel every event there could be like, for example, the Streisand concert recently: rip-off prices, inaccessiblity for the numbers involved, rip-off food and drink due to lack of normal shops, pubs and restaurants on or close to the site, a nightmare getting away again.

    It’s a vanity project, I really cannot see Robinson feeling that it meets the criteria of being sustainable, viable and good value for money.

    As for historic buidings, etc – fair enough maybe, but isn’t there an existing Museum they could be taken to like other historic streets, places, artifacts, etc, in Cultra?

  • willowfield

    Mr Poots told the committee that consultants had begun work on a final business plan.

    An admission that no “business plan” exists, despite the fact that we have continually been told that “the business plan stacks up”.