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FIFA Impressed by New MLS Stadium

FIFA vice president Jack Warner was purring after a tour of Toronto's new BMO Field, the stadium where Major League Soccer's expansion Toronto FC will play its home matches, The Canadian Press reported Thursday. "I get goose pimples looking at this," Warner said. "When I left here [in April], it was a bare piece of land and now I see a facility that's almost 60 percent completed. ... For me, it's a dream come true." BMO Field is still only about 55 to 58 percent complete, according to Bob Hunter, the EVP of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the group that owns Toronto FC, and will manage the stadium. "We like to say on time and on budget," he said. "The reality is we're actually in pretty good shape." Contrast that with the myriad infrastructure and personnel problems now plaguing South Africa's preparations to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. FIFA executives, including Warner, have been touring Canada for possible venues for next summer's World Under-20 Soccer Championship, which the country is hosting. Inspectors have thus far been to Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottowa, Montreal and, now, Toronto, where they will wrap up with a news conference later today. The $63 million BMO Field is set for completion May 1, two months ahead of the under-20 tournament and just in time for the for the start of Major League Soccer's 2007 season.

Read the whole story at The Canadian Press »

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