Turf replacement at Griffiths Stadium forces Roughriders to move training camp

The Roughriders will hold training camp in Regina after the University of Saskatchewan announced the turf will be replaced at Griffiths Stadium.

A major facelift is coming to Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon and it will impact the Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp.

The University of Saskatchewan said Tuesday the turf at the field is being replaced.

“The artificial turf is over 13 years old and is past its useful life,” said Wade Epp, the university’s associate vice-president of services.

“It is the most heavily-used outdoor athletics facility on campus and it was certainly time for an upgrade.”

The $3-million project will see the turf upgrade to improve shock absorption to reduce the risk of injury.

Epp said other benefits include adding anti-microbial treatment to safeguard against infectious bacteria, mould, mildew and germs, expanding the field to regulation size, and installing updated lighting to reduce power consumption.

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Huskies chief athletics officer Dave Hardy said the upgrades will better position the university to host events such as U-Sports championships.

“The project includes the expansion of the field to accommodate regulation-sized football and soccer,” Hardy said.

“One of my top priorities is to make Huskie Athletics the top program in Canada, and revitalizing the stadium is a huge step in that direction.”

Epp said the project will get underway in the spring.

“It’s a big project and we hope to get started in April, but it being Saskatchewan, it really depends on the weather and the ground thawing,” Epp said.

“Regardless, we know the project will be completed in time for the kick-off of the upcoming Huskie and campus rec season in September.”

The Saskatchewan Roughriders, who have held training camp at Griffiths Stadium for the past several years, said training camp will now be held in Regina starting May 17.

“The facilities at Griffiths Stadium have served us well over the last several years we’ve run training camp out of Saskatoon, but we are excited to see what’s to come at the stadium after the upgrades are complete,” said Roughriders president and CEO Craig Reynolds in a statement.

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“We are disappointed we won’t be able to bring the team to USask for camp this year.”

Reynolds said they are looking at ways to keep the club connected with their fans in the northern half of the province.

The team said it will still come to Saskatoon on May 23 for its annual Green and White Day at Saskatoon Minor Football Field.

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