Watch above: finishing touches almost complete on phase one of Gordie Howe Bowl renovation
SASKATOON – It’s been a venue for football in Saskatoon for decades and over the last few months, it has been receiving a facelift.
Champions have been crowned on it, tears and blood shed; there’s over 50 years of history at Gordie Howe Bowl.
A new chapter is set to begin, the new turf for Saskatoon Minor Football Field is nearly ready to be played on.
“It’s just really overwhelming and every day you see a little bit more, now we see the hash marks and numbers going in today, the logos are down, once the goal posts go up which will be in about a week and a half, I think that will complete the project,” said Johnny Marciniuk, Friends of the Bowl co-founder and operations manager of Saskatoon Football Inc.
That will mark the end of phase one which also includes a new sound system, lights and scoreboard.
“These are really good long term assets that are going to serve both the sporting community and the city at large for a long time,” said Bob Rohachuk, a board member of Friends of the Bowl Foundation and the building committee facility chair.
The project hasn’t come with out it’s delays, the field was supposed to be ready for this weekend’s Saskatoon Hilltops home opener.
“In our best interest we decided that we would have the first game with the Hilltops at Griffiths Stadium, give us a little bit of extra time to get the field in proper condition, we’re not worried about the field as much as getting it all prepped for spectators,” said Marciniuk.
The newly revamped facility has new management, the City of Saskatoon approved Saskatoon Football Inc. to look after the operation duties.
“I know I spend 50 to 55 high school games here as well as Kinsmen and work with Saskatoon Minor Football, as well as all our volunteers who work tirelessly to give football and athletic competitions and activity for youth in our community, so we’re proud to be here,” said Marciniuk.
Now phase two, building the 12,000 square foot club house, is expected to start at the beginning of October, with new bleachers and press boxes done by the 2017 football season.
The Hilltops will open SMF Field Sept. 6 at 1 o’clock versus the Regina Thunder.
Gordie Howe Bowl first opened on Sept. 30, 1960.