SFU unveils plans for $10 million dollar upgrade to Burnaby campus stadium

Simon Fraser University has announced plans for the first phase of its stadium project, which will see covered seating built into the north hillside of Terry Fox field at the Burnaby campus by April 2020.

At a cost of $10 million to the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS), the plans include seating for 1,800 people covered by a roof, washroom facilities, and a media centre. 

The student led project will be funded by a special student levy administered from 2019 to 2030.

The University plans to manage the project, front the construction costs and fund additional costs over and above the student contributions for the first phase of the project. 

"I think a lot of athletes and a lot of people that have been coming to the University for the last 50 years have been wanting to see improved athletic facilities, but it was really through this joint project that we were able to realize it," said Tim Rahilly, SFU's vice-provost, students and international.

Rahilly says the project aims to enhance the student experience on campus, and raise the profile of the University as it is Canada's only post-secondary institution with teams competing in the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 

Home field advantage

According to Rahilly, while SFU's football team has been practicing at Terry Fox field, facility limitations have forced them to play their games off campus, often renting out Swanguard stadium. 

SFU football team linebacker and fourth-year student, Jordan Herdman, says the new stadium will create a home field advantage.

"Having a home stadium on campus will attract more students to our games and give us a true home field advantage," said Herdman in a statement. "Playing in front of home fans means the world to an athlete because they know that everybody in the crowd is cheering for them." 

Beyond playing home to the Clan's sports teams, the new stadium is expected to be used by students during campus events like student orientation, concerts, and other recreational activities.

"The SFSS believes that the stadium project will provide great opportunities for students to enjoy an enhanced sense of community at SFU … [It] will transform the campus experience for years to come," said SFSS president, Larissa Chen in a statement.

Rahilly said future phases of the stadium project could expand to include other amenities, such as a field house and locker rooms. 

He said they hope to break ground in the next three years.