Richardson Stadium is on track to be ready in time for the first games of the fall season.
The revitalization project, which began in July 2015, has remained within budget and is projected to be completed ahead of schedule thanks to a mild winter, according to Queen's Athletics Executive Director Leslie Dal Cin. With construction slated to end in August 2016, the new facilities should be fully functioning before the first game next season for the Queen's soccer and football teams.
Dal Cin told The Journal in an email that she envisions the new stadium as an integral part of the Queen’s community for years to come.
The inspiration for the project came from a variety of sources, and several alumni and benefactors have made contributions to fund the project.
“The revitalization of Richardson Stadium was identified as a priority within the University’s Initiative Campaign. The project was made possible through the vision and major gifts from Stu and Kim Lang, the Richardson Family and supported by [the] generosity of numerous other alumni,” she wrote.
The final design for the stadium was created after input from a variety of Queen’s community members, including students, student-athletes, coaches, alumni, donors, and staff and faculty. Dal Cin added that “technical experts and a stadium design team” have worked with Queen’s over the past 18 months to develop a viable design.
Plans for the stadium include new services for spectators, student-athletes and members of the media.
“The new stadium will include improved sightlines for spectators, bringing the fan closer to on-field action, plus an array of enhanced amenities including: a new box office, new washrooms, multiple concession stands, a new video board and sound system, plus much more,” Dal Cin wrote.
Student-athletes and recreational program participants will be able to play on the high-performance artificial turf field and will be provided renovated locker rooms and three levels of stadium lighting. The stadium will also include a modern press box with designated workstations and TV camera spaces.
Men's soccer midfielder Tonko Bacelic, ArtSci ’17, said he’s excited to see the new stadium.
“The prospect of having new facilities is really exciting for all of us. Being able to play in a top-notch facility is something every athlete dreams of,” he said. He added that he feels that more fans will want to watch events at the new complex.
"The stadium could become an iconic part of Queen's, and will definitely be a main attraction for incoming students and future student-athletes”.
More than 5,000 participants engaged in an end-zone design survey to choose the final design for the stadium. Design B, a “blue end-zone with Queen's in gold and tricolour swooshes on either side”, was selected after receiving the most votes.
The first major event held in the stadium will be the Gaels football home opener against the Western Mustangs on Sept. 17.
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