Winnipeg Blue Bombers To Get a New Home

Matt Eichel@@mattyalloutSenior Writer IApril 2, 2009

Tradition can only go so far.

As for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, "the house that Jack (Jacobs) built" will soon not be the home for the Blue and Gold.

As plans have been laid for months now, the current plan has been passed forward to start constructing a new stadium on the University of Manitoba campus along Chancellor Matheson Drive for a new semi-enclosed football stadium.

Along with the federal government, Winnipeg businessman and executive vice-president of Canwest Global Communications David Asper is heading the charge for the new stadium.

The new stadium is to have 30,000 permanent seats with the ability to accommodate 45,000 seats if needed.  It will be built on the currently semi-unoccupied eight hectare area on the U of Manitoba campus.

Along with the construction of the new Bomber stadium, Asper is also to assume control of the Bomber franchise in one year as soon as construction begins.  The stadium is scheduled to begin being built in the spring of 2010 and be completed by spring 2011.

Asper has contributed $100 million in private money to the stadium project, while the federal government has contributed $15 million and the provincial government up to $20 million.

As for CanadInns Stadium near Polo Park in Winnipeg, the City of Winnipeg has agreed to sell the site for market value (around $10 million) to Asper's real estate company Creswin Properties Ltd., which is then planning on a new commercial development where the stadium stands currently to subsidize the cost of the new stadium.

According to Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz, "that's a win-win for all."

"Not only will Winnipeggers benefit tremendously from these new facilities that guarantee a future home for our Winnipeg Blue Bombers, but the new retail at the existing site is projected to generate millions in new municipal taxes."

U of Manitoba president Dr. David Barnard commented that the stadium will "transform the university into a year-round sport and recreation destination [that] will position [the U of M] as a leader in athletic and community development across Canada."

Not only that, but it will keep the Bombers alive and well in Winnipeg.

As one tradition may die, another one will be born in the windy city.