EDMONTON — Foote Field is getting a makeover. Starting November 2016, the field will be open year-round thanks to a seasonal inflatable dome.
Originally, there were plans to create a permanent indoor facility but those were scrapped due to high costs. Instead, the University of Alberta settled on an inflatable dome at a fraction of the cost.
The $3.5 million facility will cover the newly installed turf and will include a four-lane, 120-metre sprint track. Dr. Kerry Mummery, the dean of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, says it’s a facility that will benefit the entire community.
“We’ve got a lot of demand on the indoor turf field that’s currently used by the Edmonton Eskimos up at Commonwealth Field. That’s a smaller facility under heavy, heavy demand so we will help to bleed off some of that demand for the entire city.”
Thanks to the dome, Foote Field will become the largest indoor turf field in Alberta and a highly effective recruiting tool for the university’s football, soccer and rugby teams.
“We’ve done a number of things over the years to increase our strength and conditioning facilities here, obviously we’ve got a brand new turf that’s been laid down and now it’ll be a major indoor facility,” Mummery said.
The dome will be funded by revenue generated by community users, grants from the provincial government and legacy fund from the 2001 World Track and Field Championships. The dome will be erected as soon as the university football season is complete in November. It will take about a week to go up and will come back down in mid-to late-April.