On Monday night just over 200 concerned Fort Richmond citizens packed the Richmond Kings Community Centre to voice their displeasure with the ongoing plans to construct a multi-million dollar stadium on the University of Manitoba campus.
The meeting was so well attended that the community centre was forced turn people away, leaving a small crowd waiting just outside the parking lot.
From the outset the message from the concerned citizens was clear: “We are not anti-Bombers, we are anti-stadium.” In fact, a good amount of attendees weren’t even anti-stadium they just wanted more of an effort to be made to ensure the new structure wouldn’t drastically alter the lifestyles of the surrounding inhabitants.
The Fort Richmond Coalition, a group made up of five area residents, organized the meeting specifically to address the fact that many of the architectural features originally planned to reduce noise outside of the stadium had been altered or omitted in more recent renderings.
One omission specifically — the canopy that would cover the stadium playing field, creating a simulated high-rise ceiling — generated much ire within the U of M adjacent community. Pamphlets were handed out during the meeting with the headline: “This Isn’t the Stadium Creswin Promised.”
Representatives of the Fort Richmond Coalition also said that they had concerns over the plans for event parking, pollution pickup and neighborhood security.
According to those who hosted the meeting, Mayor Sam Katz along with several other city councilors and political figures were invited to the event but ultimately declined to make an appearance.
It is still unclear at this point just how much of an impact the Fort Richmond Coalition will have on the stadium construction but, given the focus of this town meeting, it seems as though those who oppose the stadium have all but shifted their focus from stadium location to stadium details and preparation. They are now picking a fight with more plausible terms of victory.