Bauer Is Asper's Man to Run Bombers

SUMMARY

"I think everybody knows we've been a proponent of getting a new stadium since almost the day I returned (to Winnipeg)," [Lyle Bauer] said from Calgary. "And it's absolutely needed if this club is going to survive in the future -- not just survive, but be able to thrive and not just live on the edge on a regular basis." "I think it'll be bring the strengths of two people together to get this done ... (see full summary)

 
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By Chris Cariou

IF David Asper builds it, Lyle Bauer will come.

If he doesn't? Well, it seems possible Bauer might go.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' president and chief executive officer confirmed Wednesday that if media mogul David Asper's proposal to build a $120-million stadium complex for the CFL club goes ahead, Bauer will be the one running the football club for him.

"I think everybody knows we've been a proponent of getting a new stadium since almost the day I returned (to Winnipeg)," Bauer said from Calgary. "And it's absolutely needed if this club is going to survive in the future -- not just survive, but be able to thrive and not just live on the edge on a regular basis."

Bauer, a former Bomber offensive lineman, is credited with rescuing the club from the brink back in 2000 and restoring financial stability. He wouldn't discuss details of his agreement in principle with Asper, who would assume control of the community-owned Bombers if his proposal is accepted.

But Bauer said he would continue to have essentially the same role under Asper that he does now with the Bombers.

"I think it'll be bring the strengths of two people together to get this done as well as at the same time retain some continuity of the successes that we've had since coming back in 2000," Bauer said.

He continued to preach that the Asper proposal to take over the club and build a new facility -- rather than again renovate the 55-year-old Canad Inns Stadium -- is the only viable alternative. Otherwise, he said, the club "does not have the wherewithal and the resources to take that next step by itself."

Asper, executive vice-president of CanWest Global Communications, has pledged to contribute $65 million overall to the project, including $40 million towards the stadium and $25 million to retail properties surrounding it. The federal government has been far from receptive to funding requests...

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