Parts of Investors Group Field have sustained some water damage due to the spring thaw, according to the consortium that funded the construction of Winnipeg's CFL stadium.
BBB Stadium Inc. confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that some suites and the visitors' locker room has water damage, but it wouldn't elaborate on the extent of that damage.
"This has been an ongoing issue with the facility; the designer and building contractor are aware of the matter and are in the process of remediation, and identifying solutions to avoid future damage," chairman Andrew Konowalchuk stated in a news release.
Konowalchuk said the situation won't have an impact on events being planned at Investors Group Field, including a women's soccer match between Canada and the United States slated for May 8.
Officials with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have refused to comment and won't let the media see the damaged areas.
BBB Stadium Inc. represents the Winnipeg Football Club — which owns the Bombers — as well as the City of Winnipeg, the Manitoba government and the University of Manitoba. It was created to oversee construction of the facility on the university campus.
Construction of the stadium was delayed by more than a year.
Fans noticed various issues not long after the stadium opened in the spring of 2013, from cracks in the concrete to hand rails obstructing some fans' view of the field.
Total government funding for the stadium is currently at $208.5 million, including $171.5 million in loans and financing along with millions in grants and other contributions, according to the province.
That figure does not include a $350,000 bill for enclosing the stadium's press box, or a builder's lien of at least $1.9 million placed by Stuart Olson Dominion, the stadium's general contractor, over disputed construction costs.
The province recently announced a total of $5.5 million in loans and grants to improve the stadium before it hosts the 2015 Grey Cup final, along with an additional $3 million to winterize the facility and make it more energy efficient.
Leaks can be avoided, expert says
An expert on stadium construction said most problems can be avoided by getting experienced partners on the job.
“In all of the projects that we’ve worked on, the key is having an experienced design builder and an architectural team that’s done this before,” said American lawyer Pat Sweeney.
Sweeney has been the project manager on eight stadiums and arenas built recently in the U.S.
Sweeney said none of them have had leaks, but he said any sports facility will if snow sits on the roof and the building isn’t properly sealed.
“Water infiltration is probably the one on enclosed areas that comes up more than anything else,” said Sweeney. “You know, [the structure] may not be sealed properly, so people are going back under warranties.”