Gordie Howe Bowl
|Gordie Howe Bowl|
Aerial view of Gordie Howe Bowl
|Opened||September 30, 1960|
|Owner||City of Saskatoon|
|Operator||City of Saskatoon|
Gordie Howe Bowl is a football stadium located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It was opened September 30, 1960, built on land repossessed by the city in 1931 for unpaid taxes. It is the home of the Saskatoon Hilltops, who play in the Prairie Football Conference of the Canadian Junior Football League and is also used for high school football. It is located on the southwest corner of the city. The city considered closing the stadium in 2006 due to maintenance costs.
In 2008, a master plan for Gordie Howe Bowl was formulated and the facility was expected to receive $30 million for expansion and upgrades. It would have included artificial turf, an additional eight lane track complete with a throws and jump area, and expanded bleacher seating for 6500 spectators.
Athletic facilities including public washrooms, change rooms and concession, and fencing were to be constructed in the first phase, costing $12.4 million. The cost would have been shared by the federal government ($4.1 million), the city ($2.9 million), corporate sponsors ($1.4 million) and admission levy ($4 million). The second phase was expected to cost $12.8 million and provide new bleachers, a new press box, additional washrooms, concessions, meeting rooms, landscaping and an entry plaza. Phase 3 of the project, pegged at $4.8 million, would have provided a paved parking lot, private boxes and more landscaping. The bowl improvements would enable hosting of soccer and track and field teams.
Renovations were delayed because of opposition to an admission levy by users of the facility, creating a budget shortfall. In 2009, city council considered a proposal to turn Gordie Howe Bowl into a multi-purpose events centre, capable of staging concerts, family events and trade shows. A consultant was hired to study the idea, which was expected to generate additional revenue. However by January 2011, mayor Don Atchison said the event centre plans were no longer feasible. A report to council updating the status of the project was slated for March 2011.
In October 2011, the city revealed scaled-back plans worth $9.8 million to upgrade the turf, score clock, lighting, dressing rooms, washrooms, concession and sound system. The facility would not be used as an event centre, as previously proposed. A group called the Friend of the Bowl Foundation was formed in 2012, which included several sports organizations that use the stadium. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the city and the foundation, which committed both parties to funding the upgrades. The grass playing field will be replaced with artificial turf during the first phase of upgrades, costing $2.4 million and scheduled for 2014. It will also include new lighting, score clock and sound system.
- Mitchell, Kevin (2013-11-07). "Gordie Howe Bowl's turf wars are over". The StarPhoenix (Postmedia Network). Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- Wolfe, Cory (August 30, 2008). "Gordie Howe Bowl awaits facelift". The StarPhoenix (Canwest). Retrieved 2011-01-19.
- Nickel, Rod (September 3, 2008). "Council gives preliminary nod to Howe Bowl, arena expansion". The StarPhoenix (CanWest). p. A4.
- Wolfe, Cory (December 8, 2009). "Howe Bowl eyed as events centre". The StarPhoenix. Canwest. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
- Hutton, David (January 19, 2011). "Gordie Howe Bowl plan 'isn't feasible'". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
- Hutton, David; Nugent-Bowman, Daniel (October 1, 2011). "Gordie Howe plans scaled back". The StarPhoenix (Postmedia Network). Retrieved 2011-10-01.
- "Memorandum of Understanding Kick-Off to Gordon Howe Bowl Redevelopment". City of Saskatoon. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Players say goodbye to grass at Gordie Howe Bowl". CBC News. 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-11-07.