Investors Group Field
|Investors Group Field|
|Location||University of Manitoba
|Broke ground||May 20, 2010|
|Opened||May 26, 2013|
|Owner||Winnipeg Blue Bombers
City of Winnipeg
University of Manitoba
|Operator||Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|Construction cost||$204 million|
|Architect||Raymond S.C Wan|
|Capacity||33,422 (expandable to 40,000) (football)|
|Executive suites||46 |
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL) 2013-present
Manitoba Bisons (CIS) 2013-present
Winnipeg Rifles (CJFL) 2013-present
Investors Group Field is a football stadium in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The stadium, which opened in 2013, is located on the University of Manitoba campus next to University Stadium. It is home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, University of Manitoba Bisons football team and the Winnipeg Rifles (CJFL). The stadium will be one of the venues for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, hosted by Canada.
The stadium has a capacity of 33,422 (partially covered). The stadium contains a corrugated metal roof, restaurant, 52 suites, walk of fame and other amenities.
David Asper's original proposal involved both federal and provincial government financial contributions ($40 Million each), as well as a transfer of assets (the publicly owned Blue Bomber franchise itself will be transferred into Asper's control, and the existing undeveloped commercial real estate surrounding the stadium). As part of Creswin's commitment to the project, Asper pledged to contribute $65 Million toward the Maroons Road development. In addition to stadium construction, the Asper proposal included 217,000 sq ft (20,200 m2) of retail development and a two level parking facility.
However, Asper and Creswin were removed from the deal as they made significant changes to the stadium design which broke the original contract agreement. The total will now come to $190 million with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers paying back $85 million and the provincial and city levels of government splitting the rest of the costs as proposed earlier.
The stadium construction has been completed and the facility opened in 2013. The stadium had been approved on 2 April 2009. On March 31, 2010 it was announced by the three levels of government that the stadium would begin construction in May 2010 and thought it would be complete in time for the 2012 CFL and CIS seasons. Site excavation began in September 2010 and construction on the lower bowl began in December of that year. Unfortunately, the project fell behind schedule, especially because high winds delayed safe construction of upper parts of the stadium cover, and it did not open for the 2012 CFL season. The CFL has stated that, with the new stadium, Winnipeg will be guaranteed to host a Grey Cup. In 2014, the builder, Stuart Olson Dominion, put a 1.9 million dollar lien on the stadium because they claimed they were owed for some of the cost overruns.
The owners of Canad Inns, a Winnipeg based hotel business and current naming rights holder for the Blue Bomber's existing stadium, forwarded a plan in 2007 to redevelop the entire site for commercial use and construct a football stadium for the Blue Bombers in another location. This proposal, although rejected in favour of David Asper's plan, called for a $265-million stadium at the former Public Markets site in the St. Boniface industrial park, which Canad Inns purchased from the city. The domed stadium would have been part of a $500-million complex that would have included a four-star hotel and an indoor water park.
The Blue Bombers board of Directors investigated the possibility of rebuilding or substantially upgrading the existing stadium, largely with funds generated from the sale or lease of the adjacent commercial lands (the team holds the right to develop this property itself as part of its refinancing agreement with the City & Province). Being a community owned business, however, the Bombers organization would have had difficulty in accessing the capital required to move forward with such plans directly. The board placed its plans on hold pending the outcome of Asper's proposal. The government was unwilling to grant Asper the $40 million at both the provincial and federal levels because it believed the money to be more of a gift than a grant. They[clarification needed] drew up a second proposal, where the same 30,000-40,000-seat stadium would be built instead in south Point Douglas. This new plan, they said, would greatly aid in urban renewal in what is the poorest neighborhood in Winnipeg. There was also a state-of-the-art water park & hotel, commercial buildings, and several other new buildings in the multimillion dollar proposal. However there was controversy here as well since south Point Douglas is an avid art community; many of the residents didn't want their character buildings to be destroyed, or suffer the loss of their homes. There is poor road access in and out, and also parking was of concern.
On September 13, 2008, a letter of intent was signed between Asper's Creswin Properties and the University of Manitoba, allowing planning to continue for a stadium at the intersection of Chancellor Matheson Drive and University Crescent. The site is adjacent to the current University Stadium, which was built for the 1967 Pan American Games. The new proposal includes the construction of a 33,422-seat stadium, renovation of the existing stadium, and a world-class fitness facility. Inflatable 'bubbles' covering the playing field will also be made available in both stadiums during the winter months. The new stadium would also be home of the University of Manitoba Bisons Football team. The design allows for expansion to 40,000 seats for the Grey Cup.
The stadium was approved on 2 April 2009.
On March 31, 2010, the province of Manitoba agreed to loan David Asper $90 million in order to guarantee that the project would break ground in 2010 and ensure that the stadium would open for 2012. David Asper was later removed from the deal as he made significant changes to the stadium design which broke the original contract agreement.
The new stadium was expected to be ready for the start of the 2012 season. However, on May 2, 2012, the Blue Bombers announced that because of constructions delays, the stadium would not be ready until September, thus forcing the team to play four or five home games at Canad Inns Stadium to start the season. In June 2012 it was announced that the stadium would not open until the 2013 season.
The CFL released its 2013 schedule, with the Blue Bombers playing their first game at Investors Group Field on June 27 against the Montreal Alouettes, a game won by Montreal 38-33.
The stadium hosted its first event on May 26, 2013, with the One Heart celebration, a multi-denominational church service organized by several local church groups. Taylor Swift played the first concert at the new stadium on June 22. Paul McCartney followed with a sold-out concert on August 12.
- Peter Caulfield (March 28, 2011). "Winnipeg football stadium to be ready for 2012 season". Reed Business Information. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Stadium+brings+cool+Winnipeg/5178085/story.html Stadium brings a new 'cool' to Winnipeg
- http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/the-jets----and-a--big-league-stadium-too-131439343.html The Jets -- and a big-league stadium too
- "Asper out of Blue Bomber stadium plans". CBC Sports. December 13, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- , Investors Group Field Builder Slaps 1.9m lien on stadium. CBC news online.
- Canad Inns proposes domed stadium for Winnipeg
- Gary Lawless (27 March 2010). "Selinger grabs ball on stadium". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
- Bartley Kives (31 March 2010). "Manitoba gives $90M loan for new Bombers stadium". National Post. Retrieved 2010-04-07.[dead link]
- Ed Tait (20 May 2010). "Sod turns on new stadium". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
- "First game in new stadium could be as early as Sept. 9: Bombers". Winnipeg Free Press. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
- "Bombers to play entire season at Canad Inns Stadium". Winnipeg Free Press. June 15, 2012.
- Ed Tait (5 May 2012). "Winnipeg to host FIFA Women's World Cup". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- "CFL releases 2013 regular season schedule url=http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/cfl/story/2013/03/05/sp-cfl-season-schedule-2013.html". CBC. March 5, 2013.
- "Fewer bums in seats at Investors Group Field url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/fewer-bums-in-seats-at-new-stadium-182643051.html". Winnipeg Free Press. December 8, 2012.
- "Paul McCartney to play Winnipeg Aug. 12". Winnipeg Free Press. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Virtual Venue Demo Video
- Stadium Press Conference Replay
- New Stadium features
- Investors Group Field announcement video
- Investors Group Naming rights video
- Bombers Stadium Video Tribute
|Events and tenants|
Canad Inns Stadium
|Home of the
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
|Home of the Manitoba Bisons football team