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Varsity Stadium construction slow but steady
Building to be done in phases

Courtesy: www.insideToronto.com
CARRIE BRUNET
May. 24, 2006

The shovels are in the ground and the foundation is being laid but building a stadium from the ground up may take more time than originally anticipated.
While the much talked about reconstruction of Varsity Stadium began late last year, the process has been slow, in assuring that everything is done properly.

"We are moving along," said Bruce Kidd, dean of physical education at the University of Toronto. "We haven't awarded all the contracts yet."

Kidd explained that the process is "complicated" and the construction schedule is not quite yet finalized.

Originally slated to open for September of this year, Kidd said it was more likely to be sometime in the fall.

"The fall is a long period," said Kidd. "That's a pretty broad window."

"We want this to be an excellent facility and have taken a little more time to make sure we have it absolutely right," he added.

Reconstruction of Varsity Stadium has been discussed at length at the university over the last few years and was a project Kidd hoped to see finished before he retired from his position as dean.

Many failed attempts to form partnerships (with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in 2003, and with the Toronto Argonauts and the Canadian Soccer Association in 2004), for a 25,000-seat stadium have resulted in a smaller scale stadium funded largely by the University and a capital campaign.

The complete project is expected to cost $56 million, and the University is spending $16.3 million on the project, leaving a $40 million gap to fundraise.

The construction will be completed in phases, with a 5,000-seat grandstand, state-of-the-art artificial surfaced playing field, an eight-lane track, change rooms, lighting and an electronic scoreboard as part of the first phase while the second phase will include an all-weather bubble for winter playing.

The third and fourth stages which include a four-storey building with teaching and training facilities and significant improvements to Varsity Arena, will be funded by the $40-million capital campaign.

According to Kidd, two co-chairs have been chosen to head up the campaign, both are former athletes and students from the University of Toronto - Gordon Cunningham and Karen Petre.
 

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Crap, only 5,000 for a university of how big? When I went to Laurier back in the 90s, fulltime was only 5,000-6,000 and the stadium capacity of 5,500. Man, how UofT athletics has fallen. And even though UofW rents this stadium from WLU, it was originally built for only WLU.


CAN WLU Golden Hawks Waterloo University Stadium 5 500 - all-seater
 

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5,000 is stupid. what a total waste of land. it would have been awesome if MLS had built their pitch on that land. however, maybe it's not big enough for someething like that.
 

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Tallinn to Toronto said:
5,000 is stupid. what a total waste of land. it would have been awesome if MLS had built their pitch on that land. however, maybe it's not big enough for someething like that.
Hopefully there is room to expand the seating capacity in the future.A lot of these small university stadiums are build with the option to expand seating.
 

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Olde Guard
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I still wish the Argos got in on this one :(
 

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Not only that but because we have both football and baseball in the SKYDOME our field turf in the SKYDOME looks like crap...its embarising.
 

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Indie Bean
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So, why did they tear down the old one??

That is a busy stretch on Bloor.
 

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InTheBeach said:
So, why did they tear down the old one??

That is a busy stretch on Bloor.
I don't get it. This stadium looks like a scaled down version of the previous stadium.
 

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rise_against said:
Not only that but because we have both football and baseball in the SKYDOME our field turf in the SKYDOME looks like crap...its embarising.
The Blue Jays and Argos have their own seperate field turfs.. and both look great. Further, Rogers Centre feels very intimate for football when they cover those seats and especially when there is over 30 000 people in there.

With the roof open Rogers Centre is one of the best stadiums in the Major leagues and by far the most visually pleasing and exciting venue in the CFL.

Varsity stadium should have been much larger and that is what UofT's admin wanted to do (10-20 000 seats). But don't forget it was the immense pressure from UofT's Trinity College over shadows and massing that killed the idea. Ridiculous. .... On top of that, NO SHOPS ALONG BLOOR ST W as previously discussed!!. There will most likely be another ugly brick wall along one of the most vibrant shopping districs in the city.
 

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Wow. . .I've never heard Skydome and intimate used in the same sentence! The skydome has grown on me over the years but it still feels cold and sterile. You're right about the open roof. . .it's a million times better watching a game with the sun streaming in.
 

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ratoronto said:
The Blue Jays and Argos have their own seperate field turfs.. and both look great. Further, Rogers Centre feels very intimate for football when they cover those seats and especially when there is over 30 000 people in there.

With the roof open Rogers Centre is one of the best stadiums in the Major leagues and by far the most visually pleasing and exciting venue in the CFL.

Varsity stadium should have been much larger and that is what UofT's admin wanted to do (10-20 000 seats). But don't forget it was the immense pressure from UofT's Trinity College over shadows and massing that killed the idea. Ridiculous. .... On top of that, NO SHOPS ALONG BLOOR ST W as previously discussed!!. There will most likely be another ugly brick wall along one of the most vibrant shopping districs in the city.
Yes i know that they both have their own fields...that should be common sense right? I mean how do u play football on a baseball field? You cant. But because of the fact that both of these sports are played in the skydome the field turf is not permanent. So thats why our field turf looks so unkept with no grass design and therefore ugly in my opinion.

Example:
This field turf looks beautiful...no patches.

Compared with Skydome field turf.


*images taken from fieldturf.com
 

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Well, I am not the biggest sports fan in the city, but I love the skydome with the roof open. I'm not sure why people have flip flopped so fast and gone from loving it ten years ago to hating it today. There are people who claim to enjoy sitting out in the snow watching a football game, but I do not count myself amongst them. Miami we ain't and after getting one of the most amazing stadiums with a retractable roof in the world, people are still dissatisfied with it. Oh well, it is more than good enough for me. I am getting tickets soon and going to a Blue Jay's game to do a photo tour.
 
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