Downtown Saskatoon soccer stadium among pitches to city council
Council will consider 6 pitches for new or upgraded recreation facilities on Wednesday
Six groups pushing for new or upgraded recreation facilities in Saskatoon will pitch their wish lists to city council on Wednesday.
- The Children's Discovery Museum has plans for a new museum to move into the Mendel building when the art gallery moves out in 2019.
- Friends of the Bowl Foundation is looking for upgrades to the facility and amenities at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex.
- Saskatoon SWAT will outline hopes for a new lacrosse facility.
- Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan has plans to make its current seasonal facilities permanent.
- Saskatoon's River Park Association will be making an appeal for city support.
- The Canadian Premier League will outline its proposal for a downtown soccer stadium.
These are projects stakeholders have already approached the city about in the recent past.
Here's a bit more about two of them:
Downtown soccer stadium
"For an 8,200-seat stadium with a lot of amenities, such as VIP suites and rooms and a lot of other opportunities for fan engagement within the stadium, we're looking at a cost of between $16 million and $20 million," said Joe Belan, a former player on Canada's U-23 national team.
The proposal is based on a modular design concept, and could last up to 25 years.
"It can ultimately be disassembled but has a more permanent look to it," said Belan.
A similar design has been used in Vancouver by the BC Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps while their home stadium was being renovated.
According to Belan, soccer is growing in popularity, and a modular design would be able to support this growth — and potential expansion.
Belan's group has a downtown plan in mind.
"Even though it's hosting a professional soccer team, we want to make sure the project brings a benefit to the whole city."
The stadium could host other sports, such as rugby, field lacrosse, and ultimate Frisbee, as well as field events like concerts.
Belan said the group is committed to minimizing the cost to the people of Saskatoon.
"We've made it very clear any proposal or funding mechanism we have in place will have no impact on taxpayers," he said.
Permanent stage for Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan
"Both our biggest strength and our biggest challenge is our site," said artistic director Will Brooks.
Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan is shown on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, across from PotashCorp Playland.
The organization is now hoping to construct a series of permanent structures, starting as soon as the festival season is over, in 2018.
"We'd like to install a base to the theatre, a concrete amphitheatre, as well as a couple park-style pavilions that will be the box office, bar and dressing rooms," said Brooks.
The project is expected to cost $3 million. The festival plans to assume any fundraising responsibility.
Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan leases the land from the city of Saskatoon, and is also looking for a more long-term lease, to ensure the group would be able to use any new infrastructure for many years.
Brooks envisions other festivals, such as the Jazz Festival and winter festivals, being able to use the upgraded facilities.
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