mar-2018

46 C ommonwealth Stadium is an open-air, multipurpose stadium located close to downtown Edmonton,Alberta,Canada. It was originallybuilt to host the 1978 Commonwealth Games,an international,multi- sport event involving athletes from the British Commonwealth of Nations.“In the early‘70s,a group of Edmontonsportsenthusiastsbanded together tobidtohost theGames,”recounts Jason Fesyk,thestadium’s SeniorOperationsManager.In order tobeawardedtheGames,ahost cityneeded toprovideastadiumcapableof seatingover 40,000 aswell asapledge tobuildor renovate a rangeof othernecessarysportsvenues. The Edmonton group secured significant feder- al,provincial,and city support for the bid, and, at first,some thought was given to rebuilding Clarke Stadium,home of the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club of theWest Division of the Ca- nadian Football League since 1949.In the end, the Edmonton CityCouncil voted to construct a brand newstadium,right next door,which would not onlyhost the Games,but afterward, would become the newpermanent home of the Edmonton Eskimos.When the venue officially opened in July1978,it had a capacity for 42,000 and a natural grass turf,unlikemost other major stadiums in Canada. The venuewent through a slight expansion in 1980,when the seating capacitywas increased to 43,346.In 1983,the Summer Universiade Games came to Edmonton,featuring student athletes COMMONWEALTH STADIUM CELEBRATING 40YEARS OF WORLD CLASS EVENT HOSTING AT A GLANCE COMMONWEALTH STADIUM WHAT: An open-air, multipurpose stadium WHERE: Edmonton, Alberta WEBSITE: www.edmonton.ca/ attractions_events/ commonwealth-stadium.aspx

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