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October 24, 2002 New surface slated for outdoor playing field




by Peter Boer

The Concordia Stingers football, soccer and rugby teams will be competing on a brand-new playing field as of August.

The university is currently accepting bids for the excavation of the old stadium and the construction of the artificial turf for two brand-new multipurpose playing fields.

Bids for the demolition and excavation of the old field are due April 14, while the bids to construct the new competition and practice fields are due April 22. Once the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough and Montreal city council have approved the project, construction could begin as early as the second week of May.

Plans also call for both fields to be rotated to face east-west, instead of the current north-south layout. This design will free up space alongside the athletics complex for the future construction of new recreation and athletics facilities.

While no actual figures have been released, the cost of the fields is estimated to be over $1 million dollars.

“The artificial turf will allow us to use the new fields much more often,” explained Marvin Cooper (Recreation/Athletics). “Snow wouldn’t matter. In the fall, there would be no rainouts. The only thing that would stop us would be lightning.”

Other changes being made to the fields will increase the utility of the playing fields, allowing more events to be run on the fields more often.

With the addition of moveable football posts and soccer nets, the design of the field could support as many as four soccer games at once. The fields are also being designed to accommodate larger-scale events, such as international rugby and soccer matches.

While the current stadium seating will be demolished during the excavation process, the construction of new seating is still up in the air. Stands will be rented for the 2003-2004 season.

The construction of new seating, as well as the addition of other features such as removable rugby posts and four-lane running track are features that may be added at a later date.
“Do we build everything we’ll need now or not? That’s the big question we’re dealing with,” Cooper said.

A key part of any new design is for teams to be able to play on a consistent playing surface, regardless of the weather. Perfect natural grass is the optimum field to play on, but you get that maybe only one or two days a year. Concordia’s field gets a lot of use, not only by the varsity football team, but by that of the Loyola high school team, among others.