Dome for Soccer @THF

[url=http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6226923-soccer-entrepreneur-pitches-bubble-dome-for-tim-hortons-field/]http://www.thespec.com/news-story/62269 ... ons-field/[/url]
Soccer entrepreneur pitches “bubble? dome for Tim Hortons field

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are backing a local pitch to "bubble" Hamilton's outdoor stadium field during the winter.

John McGrane, a former professional and Olympic soccer player, has asked to present his idea for a seasonal soccer dome at an upcoming meeting of the general issues committee.

It's unclear from his letter how much it would cost to install the bubble, but McGrane says in a letter to Mayor Fred Eisenberger there "would not be any city capital" needed for the project.

He also suggests the project would end up giving back $100,000 a year for a "turf replacement fund" for Tim Hortons Field and up to 500 "full field bookings" would be reserved for use by the city's recreation department.

An accompanying letter from Bob Young identifies the Ticats owner as an investor in the project.

"The Dome will also enable our group to develop a soccer academy which is an integral part of our long-term strategy for growing soccer at all levels in Hamilton and our region," wrote Young in the letter now posted online.

The football team, as part of its long-term lease of the stadium from the city, is required to make efforts to bring a professional soccer team to the city and develop youth soccer training opportunities in the coming years.


Looks like the Caretaker and CSA head Victor Montagliani may also be on board. Interesting...

forgive my ignorance, but I was wondering if it would be possible to leave a bubble such as the one proposed, up year round rather than just the winter months. How do these bubbles work? are they inflatable or are they erected in some other way? How do they stand up to severe weather conditions? :?

The bubble would only cover the field - not the stands. They used to do this at BMO Field during the winter when it was artificial turf and used by community groups during the winter. When MLSE put in real grass they paid for the city to put a winter bubble at Lamport Stadium pictured below. Iassume that is what is proposed for THF.

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j248/fifaguy/November212009005.jpg

Absolutely fantastic!!!
A bubbledome makes THF a year round facility for school sports, a soccer academy and many many other functions.
An investment for the youth and residents and schools of an area of the City that just doesn’t see these kinds of facilities open to them is the kind of investment the City should make. :thup:

Have you ever been in an indoor tennis bubble or the old BC Place? Same idea. You basically force enough air under the the bubble (usually made of woven polyester and fibreglass with a teflon coating) by setting a large air compressor that pulls air from outside and pushes it under the dome. Typically you will also create various air-locked doors at entry points (typically one or two) and secure the edges of the dome to the ground so no air leaks out from under it. Pretty much, it stays up so long as the pressure inside can lift the material sufficiently. You can also opt to further brace the material with metal braces as well. As far as how they stand up, the higher end ones can survive 190 kph winds and 40 lbs of snow on top.

Wikipedia has the answers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-supported_structure

The whole idea in this case, I would assume would be to fit it over the field and setup your air locks into THF's dressing rooms and it may even allow the dome to utilize some of the heating from the building. It's not likely though that such a structure would work for THF as a winter event venue though. THF is far too tall to make it practical for that, but I don't know the logistics of it. Maybe there would be a way to anchor it to the lower stands/concourse? I kinda doubt it though. You probably could fit the North Side Patio under it, though as it's not that tall, but likely that wouldn't happen unless you had a couple thousand people watching very low level soccer. For a soccer academy and having and community use during the winter though, it's a great idea.

They had a dome over Frank Clair stadium in Ottawa for many years until TD Place opened, the place was sold out to soccer groups and others all winter.
They also put a dome over the field and track at a high school in east end Ottawa, it's the only one in Canada that covers not only the field but a 400 meter track too. They had Olympic athletes training and racing on it, before it went up athletes would have to head south to run on a 400 metre track
They are good money makers and the fields gets used all year.

The biggest lesson Hamilton can learn from Ottawa, on this, is to be very, very careful, with an eye to the future, when drawing up a multi-year contract. The people who owned the dome that covered the field at Frank Clair Stadium made big bucks, on more than one occasion, by suing the city when things not thought of, at the time the contract was drawn up, prevented them from erecting their dome on dates they had planned. I believe the City of Ottawa had later signed conflicting contracts on, at least, two occasions -- hosting the 2004 Grey Cup and, more recently, related to the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park.

If I was to win the National Lottery in the US tonight I will put a Dome over the whole stadium. :rockin:

Your only problem would be city council wanting you to put to dome up at the west harbour. :lol:

I think one of the biggest lessons we can learn from Ottawa is to let the private sector run the stadium and the dome, the city should stay out of it except to collect their fee for use of the stadium. When they renovated TD Place the company went to Ottawa U and they put the dome up there.

From what I've read Hamilton has one of the highest rates of kids playing soccer in Canada and to have all that extra space available in the winter will be a money maker.