Former Stormont Sports Minister Edwin Poots has stressed that he has not given up on the goal of a major new stadium at the former Maze Prison site.
And the Lagan Valley MLA warned that something even more substantial will be demanded for the location, should the stadium project be axed.
The DUP man said he and Lisburn Mayor Ronnie Crawford met First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness this week to discuss the Maze site.
“I'm always an optimist,” Mr Poots told the Belfast Telegraph.
“We met the First and Deputy First Minister on Monday and the case was re-stated. There has to be something of reasonable significance there. If they step back from the stadium, we will be seeking something better than that.
“It's not a case of them walking away from a sports development at the Maze and us saying, oh dear, that's too bad.
“We will be aggressively fighting for something that is even more significant.”
Referring to the meeting with Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness, Mr Poots said: “They would indicate that the decision has not been made.”