Work to upgrade Fort William Stadium to begin next summer
FedNor announced $500K in funding for the work on Thursday
The City of Thunder Bay says the upcoming modernization of the Fort William Stadium and Legion Track will allow the facility to host more events.
Work at the stadium, located adjacent to the International Friendship Gardens, is scheduled to get underway next year, and will see the 400-metre running track redeveloped, and the turf and scoreboard replaced. The project is being helped along by a $500,000 funding infusion announced Thursday by FedNor.
"There's been lots of sport memories at this facility over the years, everything from minor football to high school football, track and field, now ultimate Frisbee and soccer, a number of different sports," said Paul Burke, the city's sport and community development supervisor. "What this announcement allows us to do ... is to make sure that more memories can be created in the future."
In addition to FedNor, funding for the project – the total cost of which is about $2.3 million – is coming from the city, and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.
Burke said the turf at the stadium, which meets FIFA size regulations, has been in place since 2010.
In a media release, FedNor said the upgrades will allow the facility to host provincial and national sporting events, concerts, and festivals, and the stadium will still be available for use by charity groups, high school and minor league sports, and residents.
"You can't really bid for some events until you have the facility," Burke said. "This ensures we have a top-notch facility going forward."
The FedNor funding was announced by Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski, on behalf of Minister responsible for FedNor Patty Hajdu.
"It's a great project because we want to encourage sports, and also because this is a place that generates a lot of good memories," Powlowski said. "I think all of us of have watched a lot of good football games, track meets, and various things here."
Construction is expected to start next summer, and be completed by fall 2023.