Ambrosie: time for Calgary to come up with a stadium solution

The Stampeders play in the oldest barn in the league and it’s time to get moving on a replacement says Randy Ambrosie.

McMahon Stadium was built in 1961 and the CFL commissioner says he’s willing to talk to whoever he needs to get that accomplished.

“Just give me the name of the person I need to go and see, and I’ll happily show up on their doorstep and make a pitch for why Calgary would be well-served (by a new stadium),” Ambrosie told  Calgary Sun reporter Danny Austin.

New stadiums in Hamilton, Winnipeg and Regina have been opened in recent years, giving the players excellent facilities and the team’s new streams of revenue – not to mention a better experience for the fans.

“I believe putting a new stadium in that city is not just about the CFL. It is a lot about the CFL, but there’s a lot of great amateur football being played there,” Ambrosie said.

“There’s the Dinos. There’s the great junior football team (the Colts). There’s an opportunity to attract national and international events. Development in our cities and the ability of our cities to attract events is a critical part of how these cities function, and I think it’s time for Calgary to come up with a solution for a new stadium.”

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59 Comments on Ambrosie: time for Calgary to come up with a stadium solution

  1. Ditchbanger // January 11, 2018 at 6:16 pm //

    Eleven at their worst, old Mosaic and even old Canadinn stadium were better than McMahon. Been to multiple games in all of them and I couldn’t stand Calgarys. I think with the new and refurbished venues in the league, players would factor that into their decisions about where to sign.

    • That must be why the Stampeders have such a hard time finding quality players.

    • The city of Calgary doesn’t need the Commish complaining about their stadium. There is no way that the city will spend a couple of hundred MILLION dollars for a sports team that only plays 9 or 10 games a year.
      The stadium may not be as nice as other stadiums but the fans still show up to watch games.

      Maybe Ambrosie can come up with the money.
      Ambrosie needs to shut up, stop talking about Halifax and a stadium too. If CFL teams in the bigger cities are losing money, a team in Halifax will never make money.
      It’s not going to happen.

      • anthony hillier // January 12, 2018 at 7:45 am //

        Who says teams are losing money? I suspect the Argo’s would be in the red but with a $40-million per season TV contract and a firm salary cap most teams are making money. In the prairies a lot of money.

      • Always good to hear from cfl.ca’s worst troll, what he lacks in quantity of trolling he more than makes up for with the lowest quality of trolling.

  2. Nice to see the Commish recognize Canada’s most useless city

  3. Ridersnhabs // January 11, 2018 at 6:26 pm //

    They don’t need a new stadium the stamps fans just refer to it as ” historic ” to soften the blow that it’s a dump . With the hole Alberta and the city of Calgary have dug themselves into don’t hold you breath for a new stadium. They would build a new hockey area long before a new football stadium . Now they have both leagues putting big pressure on them and have a big fat no in response.

    • A new arena makes sense, 40 plus dates for an NHL team. Concerts, ice shows, meetings, conventions.
      An arena can be used 12 months a year.
      An outdoor stadium in Canada is useful for 9 or 10 events a year and sits empty from Nov to June

  4. When I visit Calgary , we visit McMahon for games , always a pleasure !

  5. Tinhead 296 // January 11, 2018 at 6:33 pm //

    Hey Stumpeaters:
    Take note. Face reality and admit that “historic” s**t hole you play in needs to have a date with the wrecking ball. Well said Mr. Commissioner. I could not have said it better myself.

  6. @Ridersnhabs. McMahon is a truly awuful place for fans to watch a game. The people of Calgary deserve better. Uncomfortable cramped seating, small concourses, lack of modern seating options and amenities like up to date luxury suites reduces the team’s ability to create revenue.

    • Yes but who pays for a new stadium?
      Taxpayers just can’t afford a new arena, stadium, transit etc. I would say that a new stadium is the least priority, they have an existing stadium that may not be as updated as others but there is no way that taxpayers should pay hundreds of millions for a sports team that only plays 9 games a year.

  7. 3rd and 1 // January 11, 2018 at 6:49 pm //

    The Riders threw in well over 40 Million towards the new stadium Including all of the Rider offices and dressing room, fitness rooms and everything else Rider related. By the time the Stamps can afford something like that. We will be in the next Century.

  8. Seems like commenters are having fun trashing the stadium, the city, the fans, the team, the province, the economy, the weather, the beer vendors, and anything else they can think of. Piling on is always a good time. In all seriousness though, yes, we need a new stadium out here. Its been overdue for about 20 years. I’m the biggest complainer of all and I have season tickets. Hopefully Ambrosie can influence the decision makers in this city and province. Tough though as new arena talks have completely stalled and anything related to the stadium is non-existent. For a city that has as much money as Calgary there is a distinct lack of leadership when it comes to replacing sports facilities. If I had influence I would do what is necessary but unfortunately the fans don’t often have any say in this.

  9. I’m sure Halifax would love to have McMahon Stadium if Calgary doesn’t want it anymore.

    • Billinburlington // January 11, 2018 at 7:30 pm //

      I’m wondering if there might be some economies of scale to realize if both Halifax and Calgary were to work together in a joint design / build / operate initiative. Not saying they build two identical stadiums; rather co-operate on certain aspects. For example a joint design tender.

      • It wouldn’t save anything. No savings at all, both cities still have to build separate stadiums.
        Labour costs and building materiel may be different in both cities.
        Both stadiums would only need an existing stadium design. Why come up with a new design, use a TH or BMO type design.

  10. Trent Richardson // January 11, 2018 at 7:02 pm //

    Looks like Ambrosie is going to be just like Goodell in helping franchises rape the local taxpayers by getting politicians to hand over their taxdollars to millionaires that could (and should) finance their own facilities.

  11. I’ve never minded the seats or sight lines at McMahon, but the concourses are terrible as well as bathroom availability. Honestly if they could expand that way and put in boxes (teams rely on that revenue) you could keep that stadium going another 20 years.

    Though like Taylor Field I think that new construction may be more feasible.

  12. Hopefully they get a new stadium. They need one an deserve one but easier said than done. We needed one and got one. It will eventually pay for itself. The longer they wait the more it will cost. I’ve been to McMahon and it was fine. I think Ambrosie is a smart man and can give good input. We’ve got a great league and game. Now everyone stop this whining and trash talking. We all know who starts that childish behavior on here. Even so, Calgary has great fans and it would be cool if they get a nice new stadium soon.

  13. Horse, I do all those things at the new Mosaic Stadium.

  14. Well if they ever do build a mew stadium in Calgary hopefully they will look at the new stadium in Regina and learn from the mistakes made there.

    1)Far, far too many seats in the end zone, a really poor place to watch a football game. In a stadium seating approx. 33,000 that’s poor design. Period. 287 million and an inadequate seating design. Pathetic!

    2)Speaking of poor design let’s talk about that roof. A roof so poorly designed it collects snow with the potential to drop it on their fan base. In other words its design is damn dangerous, never mind stupid.

    3)Lets get back to that roof. If wind speed and direction are just right, and it does happen, the wind has a drastic effect on field play. So wind is still a problem in this wonderful new stadium.

    4)Inadequate heating. Pipes freezing and bursting and of course the subsequent flooding repairs and cost. Brilliant!

    5)A drink of water may seem like a small thing, but for 287 million as a football fan and taxpayer is it too damn much to ask to put in an adequate supply of water fountains!!!

    • You must have got some of those thunder bolts up you a**!!!

    • Ridersnhabs // January 11, 2018 at 8:33 pm //

      You are a media darling aren’t you , did you read all that in the national inquirer? Watch a game here before you judge , the sight lines are amazing , the wind at field level even on a windy day is drastically reduced compared to Taylor field . The 33 thousand was built because that’s a great CFL crowd , we aren’t arrogant enough to think we can sell out a 50 thousand seat staduim. The stamps if they build a new stadium only need 20 thousand and will be hard pressed even then to sell out .
      Oh I can afford to buy or bring my own water , if you ever come to a game let me know and I’ll bring you an extra bottle .

      • So you are a man of stature. You can afford your own drinking water. I’m impressed. Don’t know how that changes the fact there are too many seats in the end zones or that the roof design presents a hazard to the public in the event of snow fall, all items you fail to address, but hey, you can afford your own water. What a dope!!!

        • Thunderbolt, there was an unusual amount of snow and high winds that caused a snow build up that was very a-typical. They blocked those seats off well before the game as a precaution. No one’s life was in danger.

          The water that comes out of the taps in the bathrooms is the same as the fountains. All you had to do was take a towel and clean the nozzle off and turn the tap on. There’s thousands of them in the stadium.

          The seating in the stadium is tremendous and there is concourse viewing all around the stadium.

          The stadium was built on time and on budget. Any construction project costing the amount of money that the new stadium cost will have it’s challenges. Engineer will come up with solutions for the issues.

          All in all the stadium is fantastic. You can be a Rider hater all you like, but your comments are utterly transparent. If this was a stadium built for any other team, you wouldn’t be making these comments.

          • Disagree. Snowfall was well within the normal range for snowfall in Regina for the time of year. As were the winds.

            I am not a barbarian like you. I do drink out of bathroom taps. They are not sanitary. And wiping them with a towel does not render then sanitary.

            Agree. The seating in the stadium is excellent. Except for the poor souls sitting in the end zones. There are too many end zone seats. Period. Poor design.

            You bring up solutions for the issues. In other words you admit it has flaws.

            And last but not least, and here we go again, Rider fans can dish it out but they sure as hell can’t take it.

    • You’re right thunderbdolt,

      Calgary doesn’t need seats in the end zone, or any outside the 40 yard lines with their pathetic attendance (except Eskimo or Rider games). Heck with the attendance last year you could throw up a few portable tents and play each game at a different park throughout the city.

      • So you agree there are too many seats in the end zones in the new Mosaic stadium. Thanks for your support. As far as the dangerous roof design what are your thoughts?

        • Ridersnhabs // January 11, 2018 at 11:18 pm //

          You should help design stadiums I’m sure you can come up with a plan after all the seats on the sidelines are put in place you can figure out where to put more . Maybe we can sit in people’s laps or hang them from cables . Please enlighten us with your genius.

    • Horsies you stated the same comments a few weeks ago! I thought Drew and Justin had enough of your B.S. and banned you.

    • And I doubt that you have even been to Mosiac, you are a lot like Horsie.

  15. Is this Commissioner on the ball or what?

  16. Once again the troll takes on Rider fans with a total lack of intelligence. Are you not tired of being owned?

  17. Thunderbolt where are u from ? Who is your team ?

  18. Perhaps Ambrosie can run for mayor of Cowgary.

  19. There’s something wrong with some of you people. But have at ‘er.

    Glad to see Ambrosie advocating for improvements of all kinds. This guy hasn’t been on the job long but I bet he ends up being one of the league’s greatest commissioners.

    I’ve never been to McMahon, though I’d hope to visit someday soon. The old stadiums lack/lacked amenities and comfort but have/had their charms, and lots of memories. I’m a Ticats fan, and while I’ve easily forgotten the cramped uncomfortable bench seating (most years as a season ticket holder I sat in a lower section that had seatbacks too), the line-ups to use the tiny washrooms that inevitably had you standing in a puddle of leaked water at some point, and the stark concourses that gave many a pigeon or gull a home and therefore many a fan something to clean off their clothing, I do miss it. After the final game when they played the video montage of historical moments my eyes were far from dry… I doubt I was alone in that, but couldn’t tell with moisture-blurred vision.

    But it’s time to move on. These buildings have a finite lifespan, and paying customers — be they corporate or families and individuals — demand more.

    I hope Calgary gets a new stadium soon, with the same level of senior government help other cities have had getting theirs.

    • Ugh! Of course I was referring to Ivor Wynne Stadium. Damn my own editing… or maybe I’ve already forgotten more than I realize. 😉

  20. Jjist73 and thunderbolt , they are weak people with insecurities, so they lash out to hide their flaws. As you can all see it’s in every comment they make. Don’t take it personal, it’s their weak frame of mind and the only way they know how to get by in life. I’ve learned a lot since my teenage daughter passed away, bullies like this have sad lives.

  21. U of C President clueless!

  22. We all have losses in life. It does not leave you with the ability to analyze and characterize other people or worse yet, attempt to make them feel guilty for their thoughts and beliefs. My 15 year old son son passed away six years ago as of Jan 15. I do not dishonor his memory and life by in any way interjecting his loss into these conversations. He has nothing too do with this.

  23. Love you, miss you and think of you everyday.

  24. Sure looks so good on cowgary the dumpy mcmahon stadium and the toilet bowl saddledome where alot of concert promoters even avoid! Still smiling from Grey Cup I am and no Stanley Cup in how many years?

  25. Calgary will never get a Stadium. The people of that city aren’t bright enough to have any forsight. So long Flames! And enjoy sh*thole mcDump for a few more decades

  26. Stumps choke // January 12, 2018 at 12:44 pm //

    The best example of what Calgary is comes from the loser posters on this site. They clearly and prophetically demonstrate why AB sucks in general and most surely Cowtown and the barn they call a stadium. It really does show what that town is about.

  27. How’s losing your NHL team coming along? LOL. You’re a joke man. Just shut up you idiotic Albertan. Are you married? Doubt it. But I’d love to meet you in real life and laugh at your sorry a$$

  28. Hammerhead // January 12, 2018 at 6:28 pm //

    With the Canadian Premiere League coming, Calgary will surely get a team and play at McMahon Stadium. More incentive to build a new one in the next 5-10 years. Soccer has more games and will start in March.

    Ivor Wynne was opened in 1928 and the Cats played there until 2010? Wasn’t idea but it worked until we finally got the funds. Calgary has time! Just don’t expect any grey cups soon. Don’t feel bad Hamilto hasn’t had one since 1996.. I’m more worried about the Als whose stadium is getting old and fan base isn’t supporting.

  29. Party Johnny // January 13, 2018 at 9:54 am //

    Calgary tries hard to be a world class city. Great roads. Great people. Great pizza. Just a little short on funds. Maybe next year.

  30. I am surprised McMahon is so out-dated. Calgary is one of the nicest cities in Canada with the most successful team in recent years. Why does their Football team play in such a sh*tty venue? And come one Cgy fans dont tell me its “historic” if that stadium is historic, so is my garden shed. I bet Calgary builds the sickest stadium in the league soon and puts all the rest of the CFL’s venues to shame. …If they can figure out their mayor sitch.

  31. Calgary is in need of a new stadium similiar to Winnipeg/Sask stadiums, sure if you can get more seats between the end zones go for it but a 30-33K stadium that can expand to 40K+ for grey cups that has partial covering from the prairie winds. Rider deal was in the upper a little under 300M with the riders paying a good chunk so a similar funding would work too unlike to US where it’s normally 90% taxpayer.
    For Halifax hopefully they get something in line with Timmies field, like 24K stadium built for in the 150M range.

    Yes it costs money, although for Halifax it brings national attention and 100+ jobs between players, coaches, player personnel and support staff. Make it a publicly owned team like edm, ssk, wpg if no owner steps up to pay a good portion.
    For Calgary a new stadium means competing for international events, soccer, rugby, concerts and so on.

  32. Edward Leslie // January 15, 2018 at 5:55 am //

    I can’t believe that nobody even commented on the point that “McMahon stadium is the oldest stadium in the CFL.” Percival Molson stadium in Montreal is older.
    Randy Ambrosie is right though. Calgary needs a new stadium. McMahon is old and tired.
    Another selling point for a new stadium is the imminent arrival of the Canadian Premier League. Between CFL games AND the Soccer games, the stadiums will be used more and be more feasible investments, especially when you add in summer concerts, rugby, university football and other events.

  33. I have been to a few games in Calgary and, I was generally pleased with it. It seats a reasonable numbers of fans and, the sidelines are quite good. I can understand the fams wanting a new stadium but, with the job loses in that City, this will have be be on the back burner until the economy improves.

  34. It’s a complicated issue… is there a feasibility study on an interim renovation on the existing stadium… perhaps $10mil – 20mil. That would upgrade the amenities, bring in some corporate boxes, etc. The boxes might offset some of this investment.

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