Olympics would be big re­vamp to Cal­gary sta­dium

The Chatham Daily News - - OPINION -

CAL­GARY — A po­ten­tial Cal­gary bid for the 2026 Win­ter Games in­cludes a plan to make the city’s ag­ing foot­ball sta­dium more ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

Fer­gal Duff, with the Cal­gary 2026 Olympic and Par­a­lympic bid cor­po­ra­tion, said ren­o­va­tions on McMa­hon Sta­dium are es­ti­mated to cost $80 mil­lion out of the $500 mil­lion ear­marked for re­fur­bish­ing ex­ist­ing venues.

An­other $400 mil­lion is ex­pected to be spent on a new field house and mid-sized arena.

“I truly be­lieve that what­ever good things we build, end up build­ing us,” said Duff, the bid cor­po­ra­tion’s di­rec­tor of venues, vil­lages and cap­i­tal in­fra­struc­ture.

With just four days un­til a non­bind­ing vote on whether the 1988 host city should ask for an­other turn, Cal­gary 2026 re­leased mockup images of what some re­vamped and new venues could look like.

Duff said struc­tures be­tween the columns at McMa­hon would be re­moved, dou­bling the size of its cur­rently cramped cir­cu­la­tion area. There would also be new wash­rooms and con­ces­sion areas.

“It will re­ally be a dra­matic change in terms of what it will look like,” he said.

McMa­hon Sta­dium, home of the CFL’s Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers, was built in 1960 and was the venue for the open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­monies dur­ing the 1988 Cal­gary Olympics.

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