PotashCorp $5m will upgrade stadium
In a campus news conference set for this morning, PotashCorp President and CEO Bill Doyle is to confirm that his company’s recently announced $5-million donation to the University of Saskatchewan’s fundraising campaign will be used to ensure the Vanier Cup football game comes to Saskatoon in 2006.
Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) awarded the national championship game to the U of S with the proviso the Griffiths Stadium be upgraded by the installation of artificial turf and extra lighting.
According to Carol Rodgers, Dean of the College of Kinesiology, the donation “really saved the day. Without their (PotashCorp’s) commitment, we may not have been able to meet all the requirements for bringing the Vanier Cup to Saskatoon.”
In recognition of the gift, the largest to date in the University’s $100-million Thinking the World of our Future campaign, the U of S will name the area south of College Drive which contains the stadium and other sports fields PotashCorp Park.
In his statement prepared for today’s designation ceremony with U of S President Peter MacKinnon, Doyle says: “We saw this as an opportunity to support not only the University of Saskatchewan but the entire community.”
“The economic impact in bringing such a high-profile national football championship here is substantial and it’s a chance to show off this great community to visitors from across the country,” he added.
According to Saskatoon Sports Tourism, the Nov. 25, 2006 game is expected to generate some $7 million in economic activity and support about 180 jobs.
At its June 24 meeting, the U of S Board of Governors gave preliminary approval to a $5-million project to upgrade Griffiths Stadium. In addition to the lighting and artificial turf, the project may include improvements to some or all of the following: the running track, change rooms, washrooms, entranceway, press box, the permanent seating, and communications services.
After final determination of the extent of the project, the work will take place between November 2005 and August 2006.