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Joe MacCarthy

New Canadian stadiums

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57 minutes ago, Macksam said:

Would it be extremely difficult to put another turf over this one or remove the current turf for soccer specific turf? If it isn't, the turf should be something these outside investors just plain and simply invest in to get this team up and running. Have the CFL team play on its turf and the soccer team play on its own. Or are the logistics of constantly removing and laying down different types of artificial turf a nightmare to deal with?

I'm not saying this against you Mack, but to whoever has made this decision.  It's much too costly for a CPL club or a one off (ie NT) game to use turf, and the idea of putting artificial turf over artificial turf is ridiculous and costly.  The only logical reason to put down permanent markings is to save money so why add a potential further expense.

The artificial turf they will be installing at Mosaic will be FIFA complaint except for the permanent lines.  I would have to go and look up the FIFA guidelines to see if permanent lines are non compliant (aside from the poor visuals) but the rest of the surface (tested bounce and roll) would likely be compliant

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On 2016-05-17 at 3:11 PM, rob.notenboom said:

I agree that it looks bad and I certainly don't want it to be the case that we have a CanPL team in Regina playing on a field with CFL lines. I just wonder if, in the interest of getting the league going, they might overlook the lines. 

Despite what we may think about the look, it seems that this may be the only logical conclusion.  I can't see a group of outside investors of a fledgling expansion CPL team spending over a million on another artificial turf when there is already one there with soccer lines (but albeit with football lines as well)

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So the logical conclusion is the Roughriders organization itself is not apart of the alluded to "CFL ownership" groups when it comes to the CPL. Whoever this outside group is, they got their work cut out for them when it comes to market penetration and working with a hostile landlord. 

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3 hours ago, Joe MacCarthy said:

I'm not saying this against you Mack, but to whoever has made this decision.  It's much too costly for a CPL club or a one off (ie NT) game to use turf, and the idea of putting artificial turf over artificial turf is ridiculous and costly.  The only logical reason to put down permanent markings is to save money so why add a potential further expense.

The artificial turf they will be installing at Mosaic will be FIFA complaint except for the permanent lines.  I would have to go and look up the FIFA guidelines to see if permanent lines are non compliant (aside from the poor visuals) but the rest of the surface (tested bounce and roll) would likely be compliant

Yes the director of stadium development confirmed to me that the turf is FIFA compliant, but somewhere in the RSA-CSA discussion they discussed that permanent lines make the field non-FIFA compliant. This last bit though, I don't have iron clad evidence on, and I'm too lazy to go look up the FIFA statute.

 

And agreed, if you're trying to get the CanPL off the ground and you have a wealthy investor like the Riders org interested in a team, you likely look past the CFL football lines despite the fact that they are an eye-sore. Heck at the rate everything is going, you might only have to play on it for 2 or 3 years before it's time to replace it anyway.

 

One other thing about turf over turf ... Our indoor facility in Regina is leased from the Exhibition Authority from September through April with a break in November for Agribition. The field is installed in Sept, removed in Nov, reinstalled in Nov, and then removed again in April (and then put in storage). This is very hard on the turf as it gets worn by moving and compression in storage and the seams are not meant to be closed and opened over and over. So not only would it be expensive to buy a brand new field to put over the CFL field, but the life span of that field would likely be reduced from the wear and tear of being put in and out.

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3 minutes ago, rob.notenboom said:

This is very hard on the turf as it gets worn by moving and compression in storage and the seams are not meant to be closed and opened over and over. So not only would it be expensive to buy a brand new field to put over the CFL field, but the life span of that field would likely be reduced from the wear and tear of being put in and out.

Agreed.

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32 minutes ago, Macksam said:

So the logical conclusion is the Roughriders organization itself is not apart of the alluded to "CFL ownership" groups when it comes to the CPL. Whoever this outside group is, they got their work cut out for them when it comes to market penetration and working with a hostile landlord. 

Logically, I'd say you're close to the mark, as for hostile landlord, I think a better word would be apathetic or even narrow focused.  If other CFL teams are backing the CPL, I can't see Regina, who have been ahead of the curve for the past decade, not going along with the others or sabotaging the plan.  They're not like Rogers.

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Mosaic Stadium Driveby May 29 2016

Here's a little test of Java Post Production's DJI Osmo camera mounted on a car hood and controlled remotely, as we take a drive past the site of the new Mosaic Stadium, still under construction in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. In 2017, this stadium will become the new home of the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders. To learn more about Java Post Production, visit JavaPost.ca

 

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The Subaru Log Cabin

The Ottawa REDBLACKS of the CFL today announced the new fan experience zone directly behind the west end-zone at TD Place will be named the Subaru Log Cabin.  Naming rights to the zone are part of a multi-year partnership between the two organizations that will also provide Subaru and the Ottawa Dealer Association with many other marketing opportunities at REDBLACKS home games.

The Subaru Log Cabin will be a two-level patio structure for approximately 200 fans themed to fit within the REDBLACKS popular lumberjack story. The first level will be an accessible food and beverage area, stretching the width of the field, where fans can celebrate together only a few yards from the end line.  The second level of the Log Cabin will house one of the many models of Subaru vehicles known for their driving excellence under all Canadian weather and terrain conditions.

Tickets for spots in the Subaru Log Cabin, which will also house the REDBLACKS touchdown log-cutters and the team’s English language radio partner, will be available later this month.  Fans interested in reserving group experiences in the Cabin are advised to contact a REDBLACKS representative at 613-232-6767 x1 or info@ottawaredblacks.com

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F.A.Q.’s

Can anybody get a ticket in the Subaru Log Cabin?

Yes, but most fans in the Cabin will be part of a group.  The Cabin can accommodate large and small groups giving everybody a chance to experience the game together in a very cool environment.

Is there reserved seating in the Subaru Log Cabin?

There’s no seating at all.  Game days in the Cabin will be like a party on the deck at a cottage with high-top pub tables and lots of bevvies to put on them.

Can fans from anywhere else in the stadium drop-by and visit us in the Cabin?

The Cabin is an exclusive zone located only a few feet behind the end line.  We can’t have flow-through traffic in that area.

What about fans with tickets in the cabin.  Will they be able to visit fans elsewhere in the stadium?

They’ll have to show their ticket on the way back, though.

What is the ticket price in the Subaru Log Cabin?

It’s to be determined.  Stay tuned.

Can I get penciled-in for a group reservation in the Cabin?

Yes.  Email fan@ottawaredblacks.com or call 613.232.6767 x1 between 9 AM and 6 PM, Monday through Friday.

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TFC groundskeeper at BMO Field on the hot seat
With Argos moving in — a tenancy that didn’t go over well with many Toronto FC fans — Robert Heggie’s profile has suddenly sprouted.
Laura Armstrong Staff Reporter thestar.com May 7, 2016

If Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco are the stars on the pitch for Toronto FC, Robert Heggie is the star behind it.

As head groundskeeper for the Reds for the past seven years, Heggie plays an integral, if largely behind-the-scenes, role in the club’s home performances.

But with the Toronto Argonauts moving in to BMO Field for the first time this summer — a tenancy that didn’t go over well with many Toronto FC fans — Heggie’s profile has suddenly sprouted.

He may not be Bradley or Giovinco, but Heggie knows it’ll be his number people are calling if BMO Field’s new tenants muck up the field.

“I’m just a quiet old grass guy that just wants to take care of his plants,” Heggie laughed when asked about all the attention he and his field have garnered as of late.

That being said, the interest in his turf doesn’t surprise Heggie.

When the idea of housing the CFL at the stadium started to get kicked around more than two years ago, he had a feeling the “very passionate” Toronto FC faithful would voice concerns.

It’s a lot of work, maintaining two sports, Heggie admits.

When Heggie spoke to the Star last month, he said his team had been working from midnight to 6 a.m. for the last few weeks, staying out of the way of the construction crews but on top of the grass’s growth.

He’s not overly worried by the challenge of two teams.

“This year there will be growing pains, don’t get me wrong. There always are growing pains with a new project but I don’t see it being a catastrophic disaster by any means.”

Those growing pains could be exacerbated by Toronto FC’s condensed home schedule due to Phase 2 of construction on the stadium.

Next year, Heggie said there will be fewer conversions from soccer to football, with longer periods in between.

Heggie talked to many others in his field, like the groundskeeping teams at FC Dallas — who will share the pitch with Toronto FC on Saturday — and Wembley Stadium in London.

“If someone is already doing something similar to what we’re doing, why reinvent the wheel? Why not just modify it for Toronto?” he said

The pitch at Wembley, Heggie said, sees about 400 hours of use over a season, between soccer, rugby, the odd NFL game and concerts.

BMO Field, he estimated, will only see about 120 to 150 hours a season.

And Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment has spared no expense getting Heggie the tools he needs to make the change from soccer to football, and the more difficult conversion back.

That includes a $1 million artificial heating system to speed up the growing process and Supaturf, an Australian brand of removable paint that will be used to draw on the gridiron.

With the grass for football at least a quarter of an inch taller than for soccer, some of the paint will come off with a good mow.

The rest must be removed; having gridiron lines across the soccer field isn’t acceptable, Heggie said.

“That’s very aesthetic (sic) and it just looks like junk.”

There’s also a backup field purchased and growing in the Hamilton area if necessary.

He’s in constant contact with players and coaches. As a man of many bosses, it’s Heggie’s goal to keep everyone happy.

“We want to have the best pitch in the league. Last year a lot of the players, like Bradley and Giovinco, all told me I have the best pitch in the league. So that’s what we’re going for again.”

By the numbers

Phase 2 of the BMO Field renovation is just about complete. Here’s a look at the construction project by the numbers.

200: Workers at BMO Field each day in the leadup to the home opener. During Phase 1 of the construction on the stadium, this number reached 400.
528: BMO Field will shine bright will all these new Musco Lights.
3,600: Tons of steel roof components to build the new canopy.
10,000: Seats will be added to the south end when BMO Field hosts the Grey Cup this fall. When the Leafs and Red Wings play in the Centennial Classic on Jan. 1, 6,000 to 7,000 seats will be added to the north end.

30,000: Capacity for Toronto FC games. The capacity for Toronto Argos games will be 26,500.
130,000: Bolts in the entire roof structure.
950,000: All constructed, this is what the new canopy weighs in pounds.

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On 2016-05-04 at 1:37 AM, Macksam said:

This particular stadium project is dead though right?

CalgaryNext project isn't dead, as council votes to study further
The city was looking into other options, but now administration will also examine original mega-project
CBC News Jun 27, 2016

Calgary city council opted to keep the CalgaryNext dream alive for at least another 90 days, despite an earlier report from city staff recommending against the project.

The combined arena-stadium-fieldhouse facility would cost $1.3 billion to build, according to the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, including the price tag for cleaning up. That figure has been contested by the city, which pegs the costs at $1.8 billion.

2d0m7w2.jpg

Some on council said even at $1.3 billion, the project is too expensive, despite the fact Calgary needs new sports facilities.

Whereas the city was previously studying a "Plan B" which would see a new arena at Stampede Park and renovations to McMahon Stadium, on Monday council directed administration to include CalgaryNext in that study that's due in October.

Confused by all this? Here are some answers to what we anticipated will be frequently asked questions.

I thought the city rejected CalgaryNext. So what's this all about anyway?

Back in April, after getting a report from city staff recommending against CalgaryNext, city council voted to do two things.

Thing one: Have city staff investigate the potential for a new arena on the Stampede grounds and a renovation plan for McMahon stadium, and to "reconfirm" Foothills Athletic Park as the "preferred location" for a new fieldhouse. In other words, to forget about an arena-stadium-fieldhouse combination at the West Village location, and to report back to council by October.

Thing two: Invite a response from the Calgary Flames ownership group to meet with council at a strategic meeting to discuss "next steps" in the wake of the report that pegged the total cost of CalgaryNext at $1.83 billion and advised against the project.

That's what happened Monday.

CEO Ken King and other executives with CSEC used the opportunity to make another pitch for CalgaryNext, rather than talk about a "Plan B" for a new arena and stadium plan elsewhere.

The crux of their argument was that the city estimates were way off and the actual, all-in cost for building the combined facility in West Village would actually be more like $1.35 billion. That's $480 million less than the city's projections.

They also argued the city wasn't considering other benefits it might enjoy, like increased property taxes if McMahon Stadium were to be redeveloped into something else.

Apparently that argument worked, at least in terms of further study into the project.

How are the Flames and the city $480 million apart on their estimates? What gives?

They make different assumptions.

For one, the Flames say some of the related infrastructure needs included in the city's estimates for a larger redevelopment of West Village are "optional." Get rid of the proposed 18th Street underpass, and you save $80 million. Kill the pedestrian bridge over the Bow River; there's another $30 million. The CSEC presentation to council also included $105 million in unspecified "other" optional infrastructure.

So, instead of $327 million, CSEC figures the actual cost of ancillary infrastructure is more like $112 million. On top of that, the company also claims that only 11.5 per cent of that cost should be "allocated" to the CalgaryNEXT project, since the arena-stadium complex would only occupy 15 of 130 acres in West Village.

CSEC also believes the creosote-contaminated land can be cleaned up a lot faster and cheaper than the city does. While city staff estimate it would take between six and 10 years and cost between $85 million and $140 million to remediate the whole site, King told council it would only take about two to three years and $50 million to do a simultaneous clean-up in a more limited area, while the complex was being built.

Furthermore, King figures the clean-up cost could be covered — in full or in part — by the original polluters or, more precisely, their corporate descendants, who have so far avoided paying for it.

Canada Creosote Ltd., later known as Domtar Corporation, operated a wood preserving operation in the area from 1924 to 1962, leaving behind the creosote contamination.

Why would the polluters pay up now, when they haven't for decades?

With a major project like CalgaryNext on the table, King figures it would be good publicity.

"I think that the polluter may say, 'Hey, this is a great-public relations opportunity for us here,"' he told council.

"That may sound naïve," King added, but he insisted it's possible, and at least worth attempting.

"It would be fun to get in a room with them — with yourselves and the polluter — and talk about what each of those parties might want to do to stimulate over $1 billion of economic activity," he said.

Nenshi had concerns with the logic of the overall plan though, which includes $240 million in funding from a community revitalization levy (CRL), which is essentially a loan that is paid back from the anticipated growth in future property taxes in the area.

"If you're remediating only the land for the stadium and the arena, that means you're not remediating the land that's required for the office buildings, which means the CRL won't balance," he said.

"All of these things are actually intricately tied to one another."

Wait. What does it mean for a CRL to "balance?"

The $240 million the Flames ownership is seeking through a CRL to build the arena-stadium complex would need to be repaid one way or another.

It's up to the provincial government to approve a CRL and, if it does, the timeframe for that money to be raised via property tax growth is fixed at 20 years.

Since there's no guarantee there will be enough new development in 20 years to generate that much new revenue, the loan is backstopped by the general tax base.

That means, if the CRL fails to meet its target, Calgary taxpayers, as a whole, are on the hook for the balance.
Why can't the Flames and Stampeders just pay for a new arena and stadium, themselves?

Ken King says that's just not feasible for a market of Calgary's size.

"They need to be public-private partnerships or they simply can't work," he said.

"Toronto and Montreal, at four and five million population, can easily handle it. Edmonton and Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Hamilton, Ottawa all have serious public investment in the facilities. It's the only way you can have a sustainable sports team in those markets."

King also said CSEC's plan to kick in $450 million ($200 million from the ownership directly and $250 million from a loan to be repaid by a ticket tax on future events at the facility) is "unprecedented" and other partnerships have seen a greater input from the public side.

"If you ever want to offer us the same deal that they have in Edmonton, I can speak for our group: We will take it tomorrow," King told Calgary councillors.

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19 hours ago, Joe MacCarthy said:

Why can't the Flames and Stampeders just pay for a new arena and stadium, themselves?

Ken King says that's just not feasible for a market of Calgary's size.

"They need to be public-private partnerships or they simply can't work," he said.

"Toronto and Montreal, at four and five million population, can easily handle it. Edmonton and Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Hamilton, Ottawa all have serious public investment in the facilities. It's the only way you can have a sustainable sports team in those markets."

What? I call bull shit. Why does Calgary's smaller population base make paying it with private funds not feasible?

Edited by Macksam

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There is very minimal appetite to use public funds to build a new arena and football stadium in Calgary, outside of Flames season ticket holders who are envious at the Oilers' new risk and want people who can't afford to go to games to subsidize their fancy new rink. The city will put a chunk towards a field house but that's it.

Outside of an Olympic bid, no dice on public funds. There are more important infrastructure needs in Calgary.

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And as stupid as that is, it looks like they're putting in soccer lines too, a la 1990's.  If it was dumb to permanently mark football lines so they could have a football only experience, it is even dumber to mar that with soccer lines over that. And that will be made even worse by a ton of ads on the field.

Whatever local figure who made that decision should cut his mullet and turn his hat forward and get with the times.

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