Blue Bomber Report Record: 5–1–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Stadium designers make hash of press box

Must be renovated if Winnipeg to host Grey Cup

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Rookie import defensive back Dekota Marshall has the dreads happening.

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Rookie import defensive back Dekota Marshall has the dreads happening.

THE building hasn't yet officially opened but already the management of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is planning renovations to Investors Group Field.

Club sources this week acknowledged they are going to have to make changes to a poorly designed press box in which the only seats that offer reporters an unobstructed view of the field are outside the actual press box and exposed to the elements.

That's fine during the summer months and the early fall, but club sources agree changes will have to be made to enclose all of the press box seating before the team will be able to host a Grey Cup.

Sources said the plan now is to fully enclose the press box during the season prior to the Bombers hosting a Grey Cup.

The club is currently still deciding whether to bid for either the 2015 or 2016 Grey Cup. If it's the former, the press box renovations would have to be completed next year. Otherwise, the changes could wait until 2015, leaving local reporters in the meantime a choice between a climate-controlled view of only part of the field or a perfect view exposed to the elements.

It's the second time in a row builders and designers have botched the press box in a major new Winnipeg sports facility. The original press box at the MTS Centre was also poorly designed and under-built and had to undergo major renovations to accommodate the return of the NHL to Winnipeg.

The changes required to make the press box at Investors Group Field fully functional will be minor by comparison, requiring not much more than the extension of the existing glass enclosure.

-- -- --

One of the theories about this city's newly constructed football stadium was the bowl shape of the stands and the fact most of it is actually built well below street level were going to combine to block out a lot of the howling prairie winds the old stadium was notorious for.

Never mind.

The general consensus among the Bombers coaching staff after enduring a bone-chilling north wind at practice at Investors Group Field Thursday morning is the more things have changed, the more they've stayed exactly the same.

"Still windy, isn't it?," head coach Tim Burke laughed as he took the podium to face reporters Thursday morning for his daily head coach's briefing.

"That's Manitoba. It blows like this all the way down to West Texas."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb .ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 31, 2013 C6

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