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Monday, April 1, 2024
Story by J.J. Wurz

EDMONTON (AP) - Commonwealth Stadium, the home of the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos since 1978, has been recognized as one of the premier playing surfaces in North America. However, severe weather has taken its toll on the old park and major renovations to the playing surface and structure are needed. The stadium overhaul is expected to take three years. To accommodate the city, a revenue initiative was passed to make the Edmonton Orcas’ SeaDome into a two sport arena.

The last major renovation to the baseball stadium happened in 2016. A massive project that removed many upper deck sections, including the SeaBox glass windows, which allowed for more spacious seats with cup holders, as well as wider aisles and stairs.

This year, management has to add seats and bring the football fans closer to the field. So, the wide foul ground will be significantly narrowed and large fold out bleacher sections will be added for the end zones. The new baseball seats to occupy the former foul ground areas are being marketed as “Baseline” seats, which will cost only a few looneys more than the current “Field Box” seats.

One of the major inspirations for the project is Minneapolis’ MetroDome. “The conversion is easy enough,” said Project Manager Matt Klecknar. “The field is already grass, the irrigation is great, and really, the structure is sound for all the fold out seating additions.”

GM J.J. Wurz hopes the new dimensions will help the offense, which has shown to be rather anemic the last couple of seasons. “I know that the fences are going to be altered significantly, which should mean more long balls.”

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