A view of IG Field from the athletics field at the University of Manitoba, 2014
|Former names||Investors Group Field (2013-18)|
|Location||University of Manitoba |
315 Chancellor-Matheson Road
|Owner||Triple B Stadium Inc.|
|Operator||Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|Capacity||33,500(expandable to 40,000)(football)|
|Broke ground||May 20, 2010|
|Opened||May 26, 2013|
|Construction cost||$210 million|
|Architect||Raymond S.C Wan|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL) (2013-present)|
Manitoba Bisons (U Sports) (2013-present)
Winnipeg Rifles (CJFL) (2013-present)
Valour FC (CPL) (2019-present)
IG Field, formerly Investors Group Field, is a football stadium in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The stadium, which opened in 2013, is located on the University of Manitoba campus next to University Stadium. Owned by Triple B Stadium Inc., a consortium of the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Football Club and the University of Manitoba, the stadium is home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL), Valour FC of the Canadian Premier League (CPL), the University of Manitoba Bisons football team, and the Winnipeg Rifles (CJFL).
The stadium has a capacity of 33,500 and is partially covered. The stadium contains a corrugated metal roof, restaurant, 52 suites, walk of fame and other amenities.
The owners of Canad Inns, a Winnipeg-based hotel business and naming rights holder for the Blue Bombers' former stadium, forwarded a plan in 2007 to redevelop the entire site for commercial use and construct a football stadium for the Blue Bombers in another location. This proposal, although rejected in favour of David Asper's plan, called for a $265 million stadium at the former Public Markets site in the St. Boniface industrial park, which Canad Inns purchased from the city. The domed stadium would have been part of a $500 million complex that would have included a four-star hotel and an indoor water park.
David Asper's original proposal involved both federal and provincial government financial contributions ($40 million each), as well as a transfer of assets (the publicly owned Blue Bomber franchise itself will be transferred into Asper's control, and the existing undeveloped commercial real estate surrounding the stadium). As part of Creswin's commitment to the project, Asper pledged to contribute $65 million toward the Maroons Road development. In addition to stadium construction, the Asper proposal included 217,000 sq ft (20,200 m2) of retail development and a two-level parking facility.
The Blue Bombers' board of directors investigated the possibility of rebuilding or substantially upgrading the existing stadium, largely with funds generated from the sale or lease of the adjacent commercial lands (the team holds the right to develop this property itself as part of its refinancing agreement with the city of Winnipeg and province of Manitoba). However, being a community owned business, the Bombers organization would have had difficulty in accessing the capital required to move forward with such plans directly. The board placed its plans on hold pending the outcome of Asper's proposal.
The government was unwilling to grant Asper the $40 million at both the provincial and federal levels because it believed the money to be more of a gift than a grant. Creswin drew up a second proposal, where the same 30,000-40,000-seat stadium would be built instead in south Point Douglas. This new plan, they said, would greatly aid in urban renewal in what is the poorest neighborhood in Winnipeg. There was also a state-of-the-art water park and hotel, commercial buildings and several other new buildings in the multimillion-dollar proposal. However, there was controversy as well because south Point Douglas is an avid art community, and many of the residents did not want their character buildings to be destroyed or suffer the loss of their homes.
A letter of intent was signed on September 13, 2009, between Asper's Creswin Properties and the University of Manitoba, allowing planning to continue for a stadium at the intersection of Chancellor Matheson Drive and University Crescent. The site is adjacent to the current University Stadium, which was built for the 1967 Pan American Games. The new proposal includes the construction of a 33,422-seat stadium, renovation of the existing stadium, and a world-class fitness facility. Inflatable "bubbles" covering the playing field will also be made available in both stadiums during the winter months. The cost of the new stadium, was projected to be $115 million.
The new stadium would also be home of the University of Manitoba Bisons football team. The design allows for expansion to 40,000 seats for the Grey Cup (however for 2015 Grey Cup 36,500 seats were available). The stadium was approved on 2 April 2009. The province of Manitoba later agreed to loan David Asper $90 million in order to guarantee the project would break ground in 2010 and ensure the stadium would open for 2012. CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon, Premier of Manitoba Greg Selinger, David Asper, Mayor of Winnipeg Sam Katz and U of M President David Barnard officially broke ground at the site on May 20, 2010.
Asper and Creswin were removed from the deal as they made significant changes to the stadium design which broke the original contract. The revised cost amounted to $190 million, with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers paying back $85 million, and the provincial and city levels of government splitting the rest of the costs as previously proposed.
The new stadium was expected to be ready for the start of the 2012 season. However, on May 2, 2012, the Blue Bombers announced that because of construction delays, the stadium would not be ready until September, thus forcing the team to play four or five home games at Canad Inns Stadium to start the season. In June 2012, it was announced the stadium would not open until the 2013 season. In December 2013, it was reported the previously-announced inflatable dome had been dropped from the plans in 2012.
In 2014, the builder, Stuart Olson Dominion, put a $1.9 million lien on the stadium because it claimed it was owed for some of the cost overruns. This dispute was resolved later that year, with the province contributing an additional $1.5 million to cover additional costs incurred during construction, bringing the total cost to $210 million.
On March 4, 2015, the stadium's ownership group, Triple B Stadium Inc., announced its intention to sue architect Ray Wan and builder Stuart Olson Dominion. In the statement of claim, it cited water damage caused by insufficient drainage in the building, as well as inadequate insulation and "extensive" cracking in the concrete among a total of 42 deficiencies. On April 23, Stuart Olson filed a statement of defence denying most of Triple B's allegations, stating the shell company -- which represents the city, province, university and the Winnipeg Football Club -- made all the key construction decisions, in concert with the province, which paid for most of the construction up front. Stuart Olson also alleged political and financial factors led the province to rush the job and reduce its budget.
On October 27, 2015, the government of Manitoba announced it would pay $35 million to repair the stadium. It would then seek compensation for this further outlay of money from the proceeds of the aforementioned lawsuit.
IG Field hosted an NFL preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders on August 22, 2019. The teams largely avoided playing starters in the game. In attempting to move the goalposts back five yards from each's position to accommodate their NFL positioning (behind the endzone, as is customary in the American game), it left holes in each end zone that the NFL deemed a safety hazard; since this discovery came too late to put the goalposts back and repaint the field, each ten-yard line was hastily converted to a goal line by adding pylons to shorten the field to 80 yards (from the standard 100 yard field/10 yard endzones used for American rules football), and kickoffs were eliminated. The changes did not have an appreciable impact on the game according to Raiders coach Jon Gruden, and most of the coaches and players otherwise praised IG Field's playing surface.
Investors Group Field hosted the fourth instalment of the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Heritage Classic on October 23, 2016, in which the Winnipeg Jets lost 3-0 to the Edmonton Oilers in front of a sold-out crowd. The Classic's customary alumni game was played a day earlier and featured players from the former Jets franchise returning to Winnipeg to play the Oilers alumni team. The Jets alumni, led by Teemu Selänne and Dale Hawerchuk, defeated Wayne Gretzky's Oilers squad 6-5 in a shootout.
The Canada women's national soccer team played their first match at Investors Group Field on May 8, 2014, against the United States, with the result in a tie (1-1); this match was the stadium's first soccer game. In June 2015, Winnipeg was one of six Canadian cities that hosted the FIFA Women's World Cup. The first four matches of Group D--between the United States, Australia, Sweden and Nigeria--were contested at Investors Group Field, followed by three matches from various other groups. Due to FIFA's policy regarding commercial sponsorship of stadium names, the Investors Group Field was referred to as "Winnipeg Stadium" during the World Cup.
2015 FIFA Women's World Cup
|Date||Time (CDT)||Team #1||Result||Team #2||Round||Attendance|
|8 June 2015||15:00||Sweden||3-3||Nigeria||Group D||31,148|
|12 June 2015||16:00||Australia||2-0||Nigeria||32,716|
|15 June 2015||15:00||Germany||4-0||Thailand||Group B||26,191|
|18:30||China PR||2-2||New Zealand||Group A||26,191|
|16 June 2015||16:00||Ecuador||0-1||Japan||Group C||14,522|
|Date||Artist(s)||Opening act(s)||Tour||Tickets sold||Revenue||Additional notes|
|June 22, 2013||Taylor Swift||Ed Sheeran
|The Red Tour||33,061 / 33,061||$3,175,430||The stadium's first concert.|
|August 12, 2013||Paul McCartney||--||Out There||30,149 / 30,149||$4,079,490||"Mull of Kintyre" was performed with the City of Winnipeg Police Pipe Band.|
|July 27, 2014||Beyoncé
|--||On the Run Tour||29,542 / 29,542||$3,187,580|
|July 24, 2015||One Direction||Icona Pop||On the Road Again Tour||24,991 / 24,991||$1,872,587||The band performed a cover of "Happy Birthday" by Mildred J. Hill and Liam Payne and "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias.|
|September 17, 2015||AC/DC||Vintage Trouble||Rock or Bust World Tour||34,000 / 34,000||--|
|August 24, 2017||Guns N' Roses||Our Lady Peace||Not In This Lifetime... Tour||30,741 / 30,741||$3,008,250||A cover of Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden was performed as a tribute to Chris Cornell|
The stadium hosted its first event on May 26, 2013, with the One Heart Winnipeg celebration, a multi-denominational church service organized by several local church groups.