SFU unveils plans for a stadium project for its NCAA student athletes and campus community
By Justin Wong
A $10-million contribution from SFU students is helping to build covered stadium seating into the hillside at Terry Fox Field on the Burnaby campus.
The first phase of the project has just begun. When it’s complete in April 2020 it will become a permanent home to Canada’s NCAA teams. It will feature seating for approximately 1,800, a full roof, washroom facilities and a media centre. In future phases, the stadium project could expand to include other amenities, such as a field house with team locker rooms.
As a part of the agreement, the University will provide any additional funding necessary to complete the first phase of the project. SFU will manage the project and Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) will contribute annually, from 2019 to 2030, to the University through a special student levy.
SFU will contribute an additional $50,000 annually to the SFSS from 2016-2030 to assist undergraduate students (SFSS members) experiencing financial challenges as a result of the levy.
“The stadium project will enhance the student experience on campus,” says Tim Rahilly, SFU’s vice-provost and associate vice-president, students and international. “The venue will provide a space to host campus community events, including student orientation, concerts, tournaments and recreational activities, in addition to being the permanent home of our NCAA teams.”
As the only Canadian university offering a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) experience, the stadium will play an instrumental role in supporting SFU Clan student athletes and raising the profile of the University’s profile.
“For the first time in our history, our student athletes will have a permanent outdoor home on campus where students can come together to build and celebrate school spirit,” says Theresa Hanson, senior director, athletics and recreation. “The stadium project will bring entertainment and life to the campus, and engage our alumni and surrounding community.”
This student-led stadium project is a part of an SFSS initiative dedicated to building a new Student Union Building and stadium on SFU’s Burnaby campus. The planning process included multiple consultations with students, who voted in favour of the student levy to bring both projects to fruition.
“The SFSS believes that the stadium project will provide great opportunities for students to enjoy an enhanced sense of community at SFU,” says Larissa Chen, SFSS president. “In addition to the new Student Union Building, the stadium will transform the campus experience for years to come.”
Fourth-year student Jordan Herdman, a linebacker for the SFU Clan football team, says that the stadium project will provide a home for student athletes to showcase their hard work and talent to the campus community.
“Having a home stadium on campus will attract more students to our games and give us a true home field advantage,” says Herdman, “Playing in front of home fans means the world to an athlete because they know that everybody in the crowd is cheering for them.”