Only $11M would fix wear, tear: report

TOM BRODBECK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:24 PM ET

Canad Inns Stadium may be 54 years old, but it's hardly the dilapidated facility some make it out to be.

No doubt it could use some upgrades -- new concessions and washrooms come to mind.

But structurally, the stadium -- built in 1953 -- is not exactly on the verge of crumbling to the ground.

According to the Tower Report, a structural review of Canad Inns Stadium commissioned by the City of Winnipeg in 2003, the stadium's structural deficiencies could be upgraded for $11 million.

That's without any enhancements to the facility, like new concessions, washrooms or VIP lounges. The $11 million would simply address the normal wear and tear any stadium faces over time, including roof repair.

In fact, it's the same kind of structural upgrades most CFL stadiums have undergone, including Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, which, by the team's own admission, was considered "an embarrassment" in the 1970s before structural upgrades were made.

Winnipeg's stadium has already undergone a number of expansions and structural upgrades since it was first built. It was originally constructed with a seating capacity of only 19,600. Seats were added over the years to bring that capacity to almost 30,000.

Even the Bombers still consider refurbishing the existing stadium a viable option, at least according to their website.

The team still showcases a proposed refurbishment of Canad Inns Stadium on its site, even though it's negotiating the construction of a possible new stadium with CanWest Global executive David Asper.

Bomber board chairman Ken Hildahl said as recently as 10 months ago that the stadium is structurally sound.


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