News / Edmonton

Budget for upgrades at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium lowered considerably

City administration has thinned the budget on proposed upgrades to Commonwealth Stadium to get the stadium ready for the women's World Cup.

The upgrades are required for the city’s participation in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015, when Edmonton will be one of six Canadian Host cities.

Earlier this month city administration proposed spending just shy of $21 million on upgrades, including expanded dressing rooms to meet FIFA requirements for $12 million, replace the  Jumbotron at $5.1 million, the centre speaker cluster at $2.5 and repaving two parking lots for $1.6 million.

Administration now believes that existing space in the stadium can be repurposed for dressing rooms for $1.5 million, while the other cost would remain the same.

Coun. Karen Leibovici said that is moving in the right direction, but she is still concerned about the cost including the $5.1 million cost for the Jumbotron.

“After 15 years is it that out of date? The last time I went to a football game it didn’t seem like it was not working properly,” she said.

The city is also in the running to host part of the women’s under 20 World Cup. Leibovici said she believes regardless of council’s decision on these upgrades the city will be a strong candidate to play host to this and future events.

“We have got a good track record for having volunteers to help with putting on these events and selling out the events, which not many cities can boast,” she said.

Coun. Amarjeet Sohi said he is pleased costs have come down. He also said it is important not to tie all the upgrades to the FIFA event.

“We shouldn’t link those upgrades to the games those are separate upgrades we need to do whether we get the games or not.”

The decision will go to council as part of a string of proposed capital budget changes on Wednesday.

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