IG Field
Investors Group Field 2014.png
Former names Investors Group Field (2013–2019)
Location University of Manitoba
315 Chancellor-Matheson Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Broke ground May 20, 2010
Opened May 26, 2013
Owner Triple B Stadium Inc.
Operator Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Surface FieldTurf Revolution[1]
Construction cost $210 million[2]
Architect Raymond S.C Wan
Capacity 33,500,[1] (expandable to 40,000)(football)
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Canadian Football League) 2013-present
Manitoba Bisons (U Sports football) 2013-present
Winnipeg Rifles (Canadian Junior Football League) 2013-present

IG Field (originally Investors Group Field) is a football stadium in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.[3] The stadium, which opened in 2013, is located on the University of Manitoba campus next to University Stadium.[4] Owned by Triple B Stadium Inc., a consortium of the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Football Club, and the University of Manitoba,[5] the stadium is home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, University of Manitoba Bisons football team, and the Winnipeg Rifles (CJFL).

The stadium has a capacity of 33,500 (partially covered). The stadium contains a corrugated metal roof, restaurant, 52 suites, walk of fame and other amenities.

History[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

The owners of Canad Inns, a Winnipeg based hotel business and naming rights holder for the Blue Bombers' former stadium, forwarded a plan in 2007 to redevelop the entire site for commercial use and construct a football stadium for the Blue Bombers in another location. This proposal, although rejected in favour of David Asper's plan, called for a $265-million stadium at the former Public Markets site in the St. Boniface industrial park, which Canad Inns purchased from the city. The domed stadium would have been part of a $500-million complex that would have included a four-star hotel and an indoor water park.[6]

David Asper's original proposal involved both federal and provincial government financial contributions ($40 Million each), as well as a transfer of assets (the publicly owned Blue Bomber franchise itself will be transferred into Asper's control, and the existing undeveloped commercial real estate surrounding the stadium). As part of Creswin's commitment to the project, Asper pledged to contribute $65 Million toward the Maroons Road development. In addition to stadium construction, the Asper proposal included 217,000 square feet (20,200 square metres) of retail development and a two level parking facility.

The Blue Bombers board of Directors investigated the possibility of rebuilding or substantially upgrading the existing stadium, largely with funds generated from the sale or lease of the adjacent commercial lands[7] (the team holds the right to develop this property itself as part of its refinancing agreement with the City & Province). Being a community owned business, however, the Bombers organization would have had difficulty in accessing the capital required to move forward with such plans directly. The board placed its plans on hold pending the outcome of Asper's proposal.

The government was unwilling to grant Asper the $40 million at both the provincial and federal levels because it believed the money to be more of a gift than a grant. Creswin drew up a second proposal, where the same 30,000-40,000-seat stadium would be built instead in south Point Douglas.[8] This new plan, they said, would greatly aid in urban renewal in what is the poorest neighborhood in Winnipeg. There was also a state-of-the-art water park & hotel, commercial buildings, and several other new buildings in the multimillion dollar proposal. However there was controversy here as well since south Point Douglas is an avid art community; many of the residents didn't want their character buildings to be destroyed, or suffer the loss of their homes.

A letter of intent was signed on September 13, 2009 between Asper's Creswin Properties and the University of Manitoba, allowing planning to continue for a stadium at the intersection of Chancellor Matheson Drive and University Crescent. The site is adjacent to the current University Stadium, which was built for the 1967 Pan American Games. The new proposal includes the construction of a 33,422-seat stadium, renovation of the existing stadium, and a world-class fitness facility. Inflatable 'bubbles' covering the playing field will also be made available in both stadiums during the winter months. The cost of the new stadium, was projected to be $115 million.[9]

The new stadium would also be home of the University of Manitoba Bisons football team. The design allows for expansion to 40,000 seats for the Grey Cup. The stadium was approved on 2 April 2009. The province of Manitoba later agreed to loan David Asper $90 million in order to guarantee that the project would break ground in 2010 and ensure that the stadium would open for 2012.Canadian Football League commissioner Mark Cohon, Premier Greg Selinger, David Asper, and Mayor Sam Katz and U of M President David Barnard officially broke ground at the site on May 20, 2010.

Asper and Creswin were removed from the deal as they made significant changes to the stadium design which broke the original contract agreement.[10] The revised cost amounted to $190 million, with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers paying back $85 million, and the provincial and city levels of government splitting the rest of the costs as previously proposed.

The naming rights were purchased by Investors Group, the leading subsidiary of Winnipeg-based IGM Financial. The stadium name was shortened to IG Field in 2019 when Investors Group rebranded itself as IG Wealth Management.[11]

Controversy[edit | edit source]

The new stadium was expected to be ready for the start of the 2012 season.[12] However, on May 2, 2012, the Blue Bombers announced that because of constructions delays, the stadium would not be ready until September, thus forcing the team to play four or five home games at Canad Inns Stadium to start the season.[13] In June 2012 it was announced that the stadium would not open until the 2013 season.[14] In December 2013, it was reported that the previously-announced inflatable dome had been dropped from the plans in 2012.[15]

In 2014, the builder, Stuart Olson Dominion, put a 1.9 million dollar lien on the stadium because they claimed they were owed for some of the cost overruns.[16] This dispute was resolved later that year, with the province contributing an additional $1.5 million to cover additional costs incurred during construction, bringing the total cost to $210 million.[2]

On March 4, 2015, the stadium's ownership group, Triple B Stadium Inc., announced its intention to sue architect Ray Wan and builder Stuart Olson Dominion.[17] In the statement of claim, they cited water damage caused by insufficient drainage in the building, as well as inadequate insulation and "extensive" cracking in the concrete among a total of 42 deficiencies.[5] On April 23, Stuart Olson filed a Statement of defense, denying most of Triple B’s allegations, stating the shell company — which represents the city, province, university and the Winnipeg Football Club — made all the key construction decisions, in concert with the province, which paid for most of the construction up front. Stuart Olson also alleges political, and financial factors, led the province to rush the job and reduce its budget.[18]

Event history[edit | edit source]

The stadium hosted its first event on May 26, 2013, with the One Heart Winnipeg celebration, a multi-denominational church service organized by several local church groups.[19] The Blue Bombers played their first home game at Investors Group Field on June 27, 2013, losing 38-33 to the Montreal Alouettes.[20] Taylor Swift played the first concert at the new stadium on June 22.[21][22] Paul McCartney followed with a sold-out concert on August 12.[23]

The Canada women's national soccer team played their first match at Investors Group Field on May 8, 2014 against the USA women's national soccer team, with the result in a tie (1-1); this match was the first soccer game in this stadium.[24] In June 2015, Winnipeg was one of six Canadian cities that hosted the FIFA Women's World Cup. The first four matches of Group D—comprised of the United States, Australia, Sweden, and Nigeria—were contested at Investors Group Field, followed by three matches from various other groups.[25] Due to FIFA's policy regarding commercial sponsorship of stadium names, the Investors Group Field was referred to as Winnipeg Stadium during the World Cup.[26]

In March 2014, it was confirmed that Investors Group Field would host the 2015 Grey Cup.[27] On July 27, 2014, Beyoncé and Jay-Z brought their co-headlining stadium On the Run Tour to Investors Group Field. This was one of their two Canadian stops for this tour, the other being the Rogers Centre in Toronto. On July 24, 2015, One Direction will play at the stadium on their On the Road Again Tour.

The venue hosted the 2017 Heritage Classic involving the Winnipeg Jets.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Stadium Information. www.bluebombers.com. Retrieved on 2014-11-11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "IGF Information" defined multiple times with different content
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Stadium dispute resolved, final price tag $210 million", Winnipeg Free Press, 2 May 2014. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  3. "Blue Bombers to get new stadium and new owner", TSN. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  4. Peter Caulfield (March 28, 2011). Winnipeg football stadium to be ready for 2012 season. Reed Business Information. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sean Kavanagh. "Lawsuit alleges Winnipeg's IGF stadium leaky, mouldy", CBC Manitoba, 5 March 2015. Retrieved on 2015-03-05. 
  6. "Canad Inns proposes domed stadium for Winnipeg", CBC News, 10 April 2007. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  7. http://www.mcgowanrussell.com/projects/wbb.php
  8. "Asper unveils new stadium vision", Winnipeg Free Press, 27 June 2008. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  9. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/bombers-stadium-costs-climb-higher-1.894278
  10. "Asper out of Blue Bomber stadium plans", CBC Sports, December 13, 2010. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  11. Dacey, Elisha (May 10, 2019). Investors Group Field changing name to IG Field. Global News.
  12. Ross Romaniuk. "Blue Bombers stadium taking shape", Winnipeg Sun, 2011-09-07. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  13. Gary Lawless and Bruce Owen. "First game in new stadium could be as early as Sept. 9: Bombers", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 May 2012. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  14. "Bombers to play entire season at Canad Inns Stadium", Winnipeg Free Press, June 15, 2012. 
  15. Bartley Kives. "Winter stadium bubble deemed impractical", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 December 2013. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  16. Bartley Kives. "Construction firm slaps lien on stadium", Winnipeg Free Press, 10 January 2014. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  17. Bartley Kives. "Stadium owner to sue architect, builder over water drainage, insulation problems", Winnipeg Free Press, 4 March 2015. Retrieved on 2015-03-05. 
  18. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/football/bombers/Strife-over-Investors-Group-Field-is-hurting-the-Bombers-303945721.html
  19. Alexandra Hall. "Church service a first look at Bombers' new digs", Winnipeg Free Press, May 27, 2013. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  20. Paul Wiecek. "Bombers late to the party", Winnipeg Free Press, 28 June 2013. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  21. "CFL releases 2013 regular season schedule", CBC, March 5, 2013. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  22. Bartley Kives. "Fewer bums in seats at Investors Group Field", Winnipeg Free Press, December 8, 2012. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  23. "Paul McCartney to play Winnipeg Aug. 12", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 April 2013. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 
  24. Ed Tait. "World's best can't beat Canada", Winnipeg Free Press, May 9, 2014. 
  25. Ed Tait. "Winnipeg to host FIFA Women's World Cup", Winnipeg Free Press, 5 May 2012. Retrieved on 2012-05-04. 
  26. FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™ Destination: Winnipeg. FIFA. Retrieved on 4 January 2015.
  27. Judy Owen. "CFL to show off Investors Group Field as Winnipeg picked to host 2015 Grey Cup", Winnipeg Free Press, 26 March 2014. Retrieved on 2014-06-01. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Media[edit | edit source]

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