November 24, 2010

Commonwealth Stadium renovations done in time for Grey Cup


Clark Builders has been busy preparing Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton for the 98th Grey Cup.

Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton is ready to host the 2010 Grey Cup with the help of Clark Builders, who recently completed several key components in a multi-million dollar renovation under a tight deadline.

“The time frame and the deadline has been a big challenge because there was a fixed event at the end,” said Clark Builders project manager Clive Martin.

“We have met our targets and the deadline for the space needed for the Grey Cup.”

Clark Builders is working in partnership with the Edmonton Eskimos and the City of Edmonton on the expansion of stadium grounds at Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre, which hosts the 2010 Grey Cup on Nov 28.

“There are several components to this project and some were handed over last year, for example, the west parking lot which has 200 stalls,” said Martin.

“One component we are just finishing up is a field house that has 90,000 square feet on three levels. It is an indoor field house with an artificial turf field, running track, stretching area and weight room on another level.”

Construction of the $26 million field house began in April 2009.

It is currently ready for occupation and is being prepared for the Grey Cup celebration, which runs from Nov. 25-28.

“They are going to have a tailgate party, so we won’t install the artificial turf and a few other items until December or January,” said Martin.

The playing field has an added feature for a baseball batting cage that drops down from the ceiling.

The field can be used for soccer and has a dividing curtain so two fields can be used at once.

“Another component of the project is a retro fit of an existing building that is to be fully renovated,” said Martin.


Clark Builders worked with a tight construction schedule.

“We have extended the building closer to the field and put in new balconies to view the field and new locker rooms. There are hosting rooms that will be available for the Grey Cup.

The retrofit renovation also includes a spa, change rooms, media centre and treatment rooms.”

On the second level of this building there are new coaching offices and meeting rooms for the Edmonton Eskimos.

The third level has offices and meeting rooms and will be occupied by the city. This 70,500 square foot renovation cost about $9 million.

The third component of construction at Commonwealth stadium is the full-scale rejuvenation of the existing Commonwealth Sports and Fitness Centre.

The $60 million renovation of the 94,000 square foot building contains a 95 metre fitness pool, a recreational pool, change rooms, offices, an open gym with a lobby that ties all the areas together.

The fitness centre and pool are not scheduled for completion until 2011.

The total cost of the Commonwealth stadium expansion and renovation is $95 million.

At peak construction there were about 230 people working on the project.

The other project manager on this development for Clark Builders is Randy Kyrzyk.

Edmonton city council approved the replacement of the stadium’s grass field with artificial turf in March.

The cost of changing the turf was $2.6 million and the project was completed in May 2010, before the start of the 2010 Edmonton Eskimos season.

This was the last CFL stadium to switch to artificial turf.

The stadium also underwent major renovations in 2001, costing $22 million.

Commonwealth Stadium is the second largest sports stadium facility in Canada, and has been the home to the Edmonton Eskimos for more than 30 years.


A birds-eye view of some of the construction around Commonwealth Stadium.

The stadium was originally constructed in 1978, as the primary sports facility for the Commonwealth Games.

Initially, when Edmonton was chosen to host the games, thought was given to rebuild the existing Clarke Stadium. However, by late 1974, there was substantial agreement that a new larger stadium was the best option.

In January 1975, the Edmonton city council decided to build a new 40,000-seat stadium adjacent to Clarke Stadium. Construction began in March 1975.

The Stadium’s original capacity held approximately 42,500 seats.

The stadium was expanded by about 18,000 seats to a total capacity of 60,081 for the Summer Universiade Games held in 1983.

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