As the Winnipeg Blue Bombers prepare for its 2012 season there are reports the team won’t be playing in its new home until at least September. Here’s a look at the journey to getting a new football stadium in Winnipeg:
March 3, 2010: Winnipeg Blue Bombers announce stadium plan accelerated
The Winnipeg Blue Bomber Football Club announces it has come up with a plan to accelerate the plan to build a new football stadium in Winnipeg.
May 20 2010: Sod turning at new stadium
The official sod-turning ceremony is held at the site of the new football stadium. At this point it was a $115 million dollar project.
November 4, 2010: Stadium deal in doubt
An updated budget is presented to the province that shows the project is $45 million over budget.
December 13, 2010: Taxpayers putting up money for $190 million for stadium
The cost of the new Blue Bombers stadium increases to $190 million. Winnipeg businessman David Asper is officially out of the deal. The original cost-projection for the project was $115 million.
December 14, 2010: Winnipeg councillors try to block stadium deal
Six city councillors announce they’re going to try to block vote on new financial plan for the new football stadium. They said there hadn’t been enough public consultation.
December 15, 2010: Council passes stadium deal
At a special City Council session, a controversial financing plan was passed for the new football stadium. Councillors Harvey Smith and Russ Wyatt opposed the plan that had the new stadium mostly paid for by the province and an $85 million loan to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The club would have five years to pay off the first $15 million interest-free.
December 21, 2010: Fans to pay more to cover stadium debt
Officials with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers announce they will increase ticket prices to home games by 10 per cent and triple the $2 facility fee to help pay for their new stadium. Fans expressed outrage at the increase.
January 26, 2011: Bombers announce construction officially underway at new stadium
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced the first steel pile was driven into the ground, marking the official start of construction of Investors Group Field.
June 24, 2011: First structural steel in place
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announce the first structural steel is in place at Winnipeg’s new football stadium at the University of Manitoba.
July 8, 2011: Fans celebrate last season opener at Canad Inns Stadium
Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans started their goodbye to Canad Inns Stadium during the team’s 2011 season opener.
July 12, 2011: Neighbours fear too few parking spaces, traffic snarls at new Winnipeg stadium
A public forum is held to address residents’ concerns over parking issues with new Bomber stadium. The city plans to have extra busses running and incentives for car pooling.
April 20, 2012: Stadium opening delayed to September
Winnipeg’s mayor tells Global News the new Blue Bomber stadium will not be ready for the 2012 season opener on July 26 as originally announced. The mayor said construction delays has forced the facility’s opening to September.
April 27, 2012: Blue Bombers remain tight-lipped on stadium
Winnipeg Blue Bombers aren’t confirming what Mayor Sam Katz told Global News
about the delay on the opening of the Blue Bombers’ new stadium.
May 2, 2012: Blue Bombers confirm September opening for new stadium
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers organization calls a press conference to confirm Global News’ report that Investors Group Field won’t open until September. The team said they hope to play on September 21, but if the stadium is ready for the Banjo Bowl on September 9, they will open it then.