SFU’s on-campus football stadium is finally nearing completion

The program has struggled to find wins and the involvement of Angus Reid’s school “gives me confidence as a supporter”.

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Simon Fraser University’s new on-campus stadium makes Angus Reid nostalgic.

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“It was a dream I was sold on in 1994 when I first went there,” said the former BC Lions offensive lineman, who is one of the the most successful in the SFU football program. “I was told they were hoping to get one before I finished playing there at least.”

Director of Athletics Theresa Hanson says the finishing touches are being put on the $20 million Terry Fox Field facility atop Burnaby Mountain, which includes 1,800 seats, broadcast and media facilities, a VIP room, merchandise and concession areas and coach rooms.

There is a canopy roof that covers 1,200 of the seats.

She says the project will be finished by the end of May. SFU plans to return to NCAA Div. Competition II in early fall. All of this, of course, depends on COVID-19.

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A student referendum paid $10 million for the new facility. The school paid the remaining $10 million. The pitch was thrown in March 2019.

Lorne Davies talked about having a stadium on campus. He was the school’s first football coach and athletic director (AD) when it opened in 1965. He served as AD until his retirement in 1995. Davies died in 2015. He was 84 years old.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the idea of ​​having a stadium here over the years,” Hanson said. “Sometimes it takes a long time for things to work. It’s pretty much the right place at the right time.

“It’s a heritage project. It’s from students to students. And it will transform our campus. This will add a vibrancy that will help connect students, alumni and locals.

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“I use the word ‘majestic’. You stand and watch the pitch and especially the sunset… I’m really proud of that.

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During Reid’s time, SFU football played its home games at Swangard Stadium, located about a 25-minute drive from campus. It was something he was used to. His older brothers, Bruce and Mark, both played for SFU before him and he had seen them go through it.

Swangard has hosted a variety of events over the years.

“You do the best you can with whatever is available to you,” said Reid, 44, who retired from the Lions in 2014, ending a 13-year run in the CFL that included wins of the Gray Cup in 2006 and 2011 with the Leos. . “You walked in on a game day at Swangard and put your things in a stall and walked out and played.

“There’s a different level when you’re in the locker room that you live in. It’s a different level when you live your life there. It’s your home.

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Reid says this new playground for SFU will help in several ways. In recent years, the SFU football team has played home games at Swangard or at a makeshift facility at Terry Fox Field.

“Recruiting is about comparing the strengths of programs you might want to attend,” Reid said. “Having a stadium on campus puts SFU on a level playing field. When you try to compare apples to apples and one of those apples has no heart, you know which one you are going to choose.

“For the guys on the team, it gives you a connection. It’s your stadium, it’s your field. We see it every day at school. You are going to want to defend your place when other teams come here.

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The SFU program has struggled a lot since moving from Canadian competition in the U Sports Canada West conference to the NCAA Div. II in 2010. SFU is 2-47 since the start of the 2015 season. They did not play last season due to COVID-19.

Reid admits that the school supporting this facility “gives me confidence as a supporter.”

“You wondered what they were thinking. You wondered how they felt. They just built a stadium. It is an investment. It’s a big statement,” he said.

SFU dropped the Clan moniker from its teams last summer. Hanson says they will have a new name in time for next season.

Since SFU participates in the NCAA, the Canada-US border will need to be open in the fall.

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twitter:@SteveEwen

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