Costs of a CFL/Soccer specific stadiums

Below is a link to a list of all of the MLS Soccer stadiums. The CFL is bulding similar type stadiums. So although these are Soccer specific with some seating adjustments to accommodate CFL Field dimensions you can get an idea of the wide variety of costs for such a venue as well as the amenities that come with each.

You can see that at a reasonable price you can get a lot of bang for your buck. From the first MLS soccer specific stadium "Crew Stadium" for the Columbus Crew that the modern stadium stream or revenue Private Suites and club boxes are included.

I don't think that exactly works Steve(looking at those prices and saying that's how much they can be built for)

The Crew stadium you pointed out was built in '99, you can't use it's costs, yes it says in 2013 $$ but that's only basic inflation of the $$ in '99 vs. '13.
It isn't accounting for all the costs of inflation of construction(materials) or Labour.

The Cost for a CFL east(Ontario, Quebec, Maritimes) stadium start from scratch is likely not going to get lower then the new Hamilton stadium of ~$102M(new Ottawa estimated ~$130M). Maybe some corners can be cut to get under $100M but not much below.

To get a full bells/Whistle CFL west stadium it's $200M+ to build now(IGF is just being finished for $190M and new Rider stadium is pegged at ~$280M with shovels not yet in the ground)

That list of MLS stadium definitely does show one key thing, the longer the wait to build a new stadium really the worse the costs are going to get.
It sucks knowing that had say Halifax build a new Millenium stadium around 1999 with 24K seats it could have been done for under $40M and probably been the class of the CFL for well over a decade(until now with IGF really)

For lower levels of soccer such as the Nasl you can build a 10,000 seat stadium for $25 million.

Yea but that is not what the CFL needs they need that 25K with suites etc.

I think that is one thing that the CFL is pointing out to these potential owners and cities as well as what they pointed out to those building new now is that the longer you wait the more likely it may really be out of your price range.

I tend to look at the recent MLS stadiums that have been built like Saputo, Montreal, PPL Park in Phila and you can get an idea of what you can get and at about what cost now.
A lot of bells and Whistles may not be needed for a team. Certainly Montreal hit gold when then stumbled upon Percival. Adding 5,000 seats and some suites certainly anything that is built among those lists of MLS stadiums will have more bells and whistles than Percival

Stadiums like the MLS stadiums in Montreal and Toronto will not work for the CFL. The additional television money will be eaten up by well deserved pay raises for players as well as other investments. IMO, the new stadiums in Hamilton and Ottawa will be the minimum required to successfully host a CFL franchise. A stadium that has less than 20k seats between the goallines will not work, regardless of how many suites it has. No owner will invest in a situation where you need to sell several thousand end zone seats each game to have any hope of breaking even.

Were going to see smaller and smaller stadiums and arenas in part you know it will be sold out or close to it take Toronto if they geta new Cfl stadium don't be shocked if it is 22,000 seats and thats it.

That is why I mentioned that the seating for CFL stadiums would have to be altered from there soccer only counterparts. Saputo for example would not have setas all the way around the stadium but intstead have seats higher up on the sideline grandstands
Having seats in the endzone is not a complete foreign concept to CFL stadiums either tho. Investments in Winnipeg will have seats in the endzone but there wil be fewer and very clse to the end zone.
Hamilton but a lot of extra cost into the seating of the stadium getting the most expensive biggest seats for the biggest butts in the world.
You may be surprised in what an owner may do if needs to fund the stadium themselves.
If an ownership group were to build a stadium in Halifax anything including the original crew stadium with induvidual bench seating with one bif long back for each bench would be better thab the best venue ever in the Maritimes being stade Moncton that was a huge upgrade to Huskie field at SMU. Long term contract for the naming rights of a stadium that may be seem on national TV at least 10 times a season before close to a Million TV viewers may be worth enogh to pay back the cost of a stadium very quickly.
Look for the unthinkable to be happening when it comes to getting a stadium in place for a CFL franchise. A way of doing things that has always thought to be impossible may be made possible now.

Building up is what costs the money though. You take one of Saputo and put those 10k ish seats at the end of the field above the sideline seats and the structural design is of no comparison whatsoever. Main difference...price of steel is not linear with size when you start talking building up that high. then there is the price of foundation, which will easily be double for the added weight. Then there is the equipment (ie cranes), which now must be upgraded significantly...the cranes used might be able to do the same job at say Saputo, but the ones used there would likely not have the same capacity with the booms extended for the higher structure.

Plus, these are pretty much base stadiums...most cities want something that has some appeal, because it becomes a landmark, and you don't want something too bare bones...something you feel you are going to need to redo in 10 years. I don't see how a decent stadium can cost under 180mil...and even that is keeping it relatively basic. Yeah, you can likely get into something for 70mil, so long as the city is willing to essentially throw that money away in 10-15 years...seems like a waste to me, but by all means, sometimes that is the only financial option.

If someone wants to build a CFL stadium for 70mil I would actually ponder naming rights lol. Right now 200mil stdiums are supposedly about 300-330K per year (based on Bombers and Riders #s), so I would put this at say 100K...

"Depopulation Station"

Has a real ring to it!

Well to get a team in now they may have to go with a base stadium. The Clumbus crew stadium is as base as it gets and is still going on 15 years now so they have gotten well worth its use out of the stadium.
someone who wants an expansion team in a city without a stadium will be better off building a base stadium now and have a team now than wait for a team in 10 years. The CFL itself also will want team 10 ASAP so if the first expnsion group to make a deal for team #10 will get much more support from the league than any team before.
Anyone wainting and coming in as team #11 will not get such help as 10 is the key number anything else will be icing on the cake

How much do you think it would cost to build a stadium just like Commonwealth minus the upper level seats in todays dollars?

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I'm not certain, but I think the lower bowl of Commonwealth must seat around 30,000. I think the lower bowl looks quite nice, and very adequate for CFL & Soccer.

I bet a design similar to the lower bowl of Commonwealth, with only 25,000, would work extremely well in out east.

The bombers went bigger with IG field compared to CanadInns with over 30K seats but they've had strings of sellouts and so forth that make it easier to decide to go bigger. In more uncertain markets, specifically the two stadiums going up in ontarios, it seems the magic number is in and around 25K expandable to 45K, which is probably the benchmark any other city considering building a CFL attractive stadium should target. Putting in at least $25/30/50/75 million for a stadium is no easy task for any community these days, particularly when you consider that the main tenants being CFL and/or NASL teams have narrow profit margins. Even the temporary one that BC played in during the BC place reno was what, about $15 million to construct? Still a bit steep. But the new CFL TV deal makes the cost of building the stadium much more palatable and may encourage another community to finally step up and be that 10th site. At $40 mil/year, divided up between 10 teams basically covers the teams salaries under the current cap, making it that much easier to build a profit margin from the ticket, concession, and merchandise sales. I wouldn't be surprised if that new TV deal hasn't opened up a few minds and doors.

You are exactly right and the current deal is for 9 teams and 4 games a week aside form the couple of crazy weeks in which somehow a tam may have two play 2 games in 8 days to accommodate getting every teams 18 games in.
A tenth team would change all of that it would be 5 games each week. So either the CFL and TSN have already worked that into the new deal, or worked the option for the CFL and TSN to adjust the deal with more games a week meaning more money for the CFL because it will mean more money for the TSN from sponsors and commercial spots for TSN. The option can be there also for the CFL to possibility negotiate that 5th game each week to a second network.
We wont know this unless they come out with the complete deal and its clauses

There is no chance the option is there to negotiate the 5th game to a non-bell network. If the CFL is forced to split games then the goes down not up. TSN the synergy they get by marketing the CFL as they are the sole broadcaster, listen to the head of TSN and Cohon that is constantly a key point to why this deal is so much.
Split that up by giving a game to rogers and TSN doesn’t have the same incentive to promote the game. It’s not like the NFL where it’s 15-16 games a week so one network can’t put them all on.
with 5 games a week it’s easy, 1 Thursday game, Friday double header + either saturday double head or saturday/sunday combo for June to Labour day, post labour day it’s double friday, double satuday and a sunday noon game or triple saturday.

But you are right a 10th team(5 game week) does change the game for the CFL they would likely get an increase per team in the new deal with that 5th game alone(like if they had 10 teams for 2014 it would be 45-50M instead of 35-40M)
But also need to factor in it’s also a game changer if the 10th team is in the maritimes, as it makes the CFL a true coast to coast league.
A team in Moncton/Halifax means adding a TV market of something like ~2.3M ,for the 4 maritime provinces combined, is now added to the CFL,(a lot more then Ottawa brings).
That’s potentially the 4th/5th biggest TV market for the CFL after MTL, BC, TO/HAM.

On the whole costs of a stadium, it might not be THAT big of a cost for the local gov IF the foundation of a community team is in place.
Take the Bombers template with a Ti-cat style stadium.
Plan - Build a ~26K stadium with 40-50 luxury boxes make it either:
a sunken bowl stadium like the Bombers but without the upper decks/roof(to start, make it so they can be added in the future)
Just take the ti-cat stadium, build roughly the same thing. - either way cost should be in the $120M range.

There are a few funding plan options that would work to build a stadium. But some combination of grants from the prov/city, with a private funding campaign and a loan to the team from the province should work

If there was political will + the team would have the fan support(which Imo it would) it isn’t hard to see how a deal could get worked out.

As for public money as i have said before this does not go over well with many also if you give money to the East Coast then your going to have to give money to other citys people don't like public money going to sports and with so many things wrongs with Canada right now this is not the time to even try this.Now as with population Ottawa-Gatineau is about 1.2 million that does not include any areas out side of the Ottawa are if you were to start including them you would get close to if not pass 1.8 million as i understand it as of 2011 the Marittimes population was 1.8 million.

There will be public opposition to anything built, particularly with public money. But such a project is not doable without financial involvement by the government. And they will recoup their money back in taxes on everything - merchandise, tickets, travel in out of the city including airline and hotel, other hospitality taxes. That TV deal is huge because it means that a CFL team as the anchor tennant can be a financially viable business. And any stadium has to be sold as a community venue for mixed use, whether that includes a soccer team, a CIS co-tennant, local/regional concert venue, add a winter bubble on the field to allow offseason use, etc. It'll never be in vogue to spend money on a stadium. Look at what we had to go through in Winnipeg, what Ottawa's gone through, and Hamilton as well. It requires a lot of commitment, patience, and vision to win over enough people to get it done, but it can be done.

As I said with the Advent of the CFL with a great financial foundation now with a responsible SMS in place and the now modern model where the league is no longer 100% gate driven league with Corporate sponsors ready to line up, TV revenue of unthought amount ever, Merchandise spike that will come from a 9th new franchise in 2014 and the prospective Merchandise spike for a tenth team added revenue coming from a 5th game each week making an expansion franchise a good long term investment with the Football popularity growing in places like never before you will see the attitude of private investors Change in building an all purpose venue in a city or region where there is none and reep the benefits of generating revenue from a slew of other events besides a CFL franchise.
Yes I know it has never been done before like this in Canada but this type of situation has never occured before under these circumstances.
I know it is the MLS and it was in the United states but the Columbus crew was able to build a cost effeceint stadium for pro soccer in the US where as soccer leagues including the beginning of the MLS have always used current venues even if not soccer friendly was unheard of at the time and now the basic stadium is still holding up 15 years later and have helped the crew reamian as one of the 10 charter members in the MLS. This was the first time this happend for a pro soccer veue in the US so there is a first for everything and the first privately funded venue with a basic cost effecient venue for CFL football as well as possibily pro soccer as well as other activities may jsut shock the Heck out of everyone. A group with good enough credit to finance the stadium would be able to make back that money through naming rights alone.
When it comes to the CFL throw out all of the old only ways to do things and look for more reative private invetors to make a sound business move.
The naysayers will still say never but they have been saying the same about the CFL for almost a decade now and look where they are now.

Yes, but if the stadium is built with provincial/city money as I suggest then that is not an issue. Victoria can't complain to the feds because Halifax gets a stadium if it gets provincial and not federal money.

I was counting Newfoundland in the Martimes(I said 4 provinces :stuck_out_tongue:), with Newfoundland the Atlantic provinces is over 2.3M, yes without NL it's 1.8M

Now while building a new stadium isn't popular with some people who get PO'd when money goes anywhere other then fixing roads some key things:

  1. I am suggesting building a stadium for a Community owned team, not for a private owner(the popular argument against it)
  2. I'm suggesting a majority of the funding come from a funding drive + loan the team will repay over time(so it's not $100M given away)
  3. This would create a lot of construction jobs(probably ~1K for a year) followed by 100-200 Permenant jobs(not including players). That means the province is making some of their money back through construction of the stadium followed by increasing the tax base, it's adding a $20M+ business to the city/province that showcases them nationally 10 times a year + would be bringing a grey cup basically every 10 years which brings huge economic benefits to the city/province.

It's really not hard to see a way to make this work in Halifax(or Moncton) so that city and province are seeing positive results pretty quickly. The question is simply is the politicians in power smart enough to do it + can a community run team be started up from scratch in this day and age.


As for construction jobs look at Ottawa which is a massive project this summer at the mosy will have 450 construction workers.

5 years ago BMO stadium was good enough for the Argos. Back then it was at a cost of 63 Million and that was with 22 thousand sets plus adaquate suits.
In 2012 the estimated cost for the same structure is at 68 million. Granted to add 3 thousand more seats and have a seating layout that would accommodate a CFL field would be a bit more and higher labor costs but most likely not as much as people may think.
The current numbers being tossed around through interviews with such officials of MLSE, who don't want the Argos there are between 40 and 50 million to make the proper adjustments to make BMO CFL friendly.
Even at the High end 50 million the total cost to adapt BMO from original cost of 63 million to and that is a total of 113 million.
Whether any of these numbers are correct or not a stadium can be put up for less than 100 million.
So the question for the CFL and an Expansion team is it more important to have a team with a stadium similiar to BMO or Crew Field in Columbus within a reasonable 5 years or fight about a higher costing stadium and not have a team for 10 years.
Crew Field is pushing 15 years old and has gotten plenty of use and was more than worth the money.