Edmonton

Commonwealth Stadium gets facelift

There's a lot more green and gold at Commonwealth Stadium.

Improvements also planned for stadium's scoreboard, lockers, parking

Workers installed the last of 56,000 new green and gold seats at Commonwealth Stadium of Sunday. (CBC)

There's a lot more green and gold at Commonwealth Stadium.

Two months ahead of schedule, crews finished installing the last of 56,000 new green and gold seats in the arena on Sunday, replacing the 35-year-old red seats put in for the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

The new and reportedly more comfortable seats match the colours of the Edmonton Eskimos. They also feature armrests, cup holders, and most are slightly larger than the old seats.

"It was time for an upgrade," said Eskimos' president and CEO Len Rhodes.

"When you look around the country, there are new stadiums being built and it was pivotal for Commonwealth to keep up with the others."

"This is just a powerful statement in terms of a facelift for a great stadium. This will be a stadium where people want to watch a football game," he added.

The total cost for replacing the seats was $11.9 million. Of that, $4 million came from the city, and the rest from a five percent ticket surcharge on all events at the stadium held since 2012.

The old stadium seats that cannot be salvaged for sale will be recycled.

In addition to the new seats, the city is also paying more than $1.9 million to improve and add to the stadium’s locker rooms, $3.3 million to replace the Jumbotron scoreboard and sound system, and $930,000 to re-pave two of the stadium’s parking lots.