Construction has officially begun on a new outdoor football stadium at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby Mountain campus.
The new partially covered stadium on the hillside at Terry Fox Field will include 1,800 seats, accessible concourse and washrooms, integrated sound system, fully accessible VIP/sponsor box, coaches booths, and broadcast and media facilities. Panoramic views of the Lower Mainland can be seen from the south-facing grandstands.
The project is a joint collaboration between the university and the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS), with students paying $10 million through an annual SFSS student levy from 2019 to 2030. Supplementary funding beyond what the SFSS can provide will be covered by the university.
This provides the university with an on-campus home for its football team, which currently uses Swangard Stadium as its home field. It would also be used for track and field, SFU’s men’s and women’s soccer teams, and special events and entertainment, and should encourage more student involvement and provide a boost to school spirit.
This is the first time in the university’s history SFU sports teams will play in a home stadium on campus. It will also become the permanent home to Canada’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) teams, as SFU is currently the only Canadian university offering an NCAA experience.
Construction is aimed to be completed by Summer 2020 and can be further expanded in the future with additional amenities.
The demand for such an on-campus venue has been growing for some time. There are currently 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students at the campus, which will grow to 30,000 by 2045.
This does not include thousands of faculty and staff, as well as residents living within the UniverCity neighbourhood.
By summer of this year, the SFSS is expected to open its new $55-million Student Union Building, providing students with a much-needed space to study, socialize, and relax.
Over on the western end of Metro Vancouver, the University of British Columbia is contemplating building a new 5,000-seat Thunderbird Stadium to accommodate the construction of a new residential neighbourhood.
With files from Rob Williams.