A new stadium without a canopy would be like the Bombers without coaching controversy. It would still function, but the fans would be uncomfortable. Removing the canopy from the plans would completely disregard the fact that Winnipeg has extreme weather to deal with and the residents who originally agreed to the proposal will be outraged and local politicians and businessmen look like money-hungry fair-weather fans — in an election year.
If the Bombers continue on the streak they are currently on, a canopy will be a saving grace. This will allow no one to be able to say that they do not want to attend the game due to weather.
We live in a city where we are forced to deal with extreme variations in temperature. So let’s deal with this inevitable factor with a timeless sports principle: the best defense is a good offence. Why not plan for what we know is coming? Keeping the canopy would allow the new stadium to be used to its full potential 365 days a year. And if our designers decided that this canopy is unnecessary, we have one request. Please do not be surprised when the stadium seats wear away faster and the turf needs to be replaced sooner.
We will be calling on your money then, too. And we will be keeping tabs of when these additional — and preventable — financial burdens surpass the original cost of the canopy.
Undeniably, football fans get into the game. Another benefit to keeping to the original proposal is that it would create a sound barrier. Bomber fans get rowdy and high decibel levels are inevitable. So let’s plan for a solution now! The residents are concerned, as they should be. The citizens that should be the most concerned are us, the students of the University of Manitoba. It can be difficult enough to remain in the library knowing that there is a celebration going on. It will be near impossible if we can hear it. Please allow us to concentrate and study, therefore ultimately succeeding in life. Hate for that to fall on your shoulders too, gentlemen and women.
The decision to cut costs by removing the canopy is problematic and demonstrative of the get-it-done-quick attitude of Winnipeg politicians and businessmen. As a society, we like shiny things. We want to be pleased aesthetically and have something pretty to place in glossy brochures. Winnipeg is a burgeoning city and we need this state of the art facility to show off the “Heart of the Continent.” Just think how nice those photographs will be, Mr. Katz. Just like those perfectly placed, yellow excavators in the breaking ground ceremony.
Removing the canopy from the plans for the new $115 million dollar stadium will eliminate any hope of any other organization or sport to use this new arena. The Bisons will definitely use this new facility, with or without a canopy. However, if we cover the field, there is potentially nothing stopping the university and other community teams to use it for other sports as well. Perhaps ultimate frisbee or lacrosse? The more sports we can play in this stadium should result in more victorious games. Winning matches result in happier players, which in turn translates into an ecstatic voting demographic. See where I am going with this, local politicians?
The reasons why we need this canopy on our new stadium are many. It would be unfortunate if we get called offside before the game even starts. Put the canopy on and make people, students, organizations and, most importantly, your city happy and proud. Leave it off, and we will end up with the same problems we currently have. And we will expect to see Mr. Katz out at every game in November. You’re first and goal, don’t give up a turnover.
Chelsea James is a fourth year Religious Studies student at the University of Manitoba.