Case for Support

The Friends of the Bowl Foundation introduces the Field Goal Campaign, an $11-million fundraising campaign to renew the Bowl at Gordon Howe Park.

The Bowl has been instrumental in developing outdoor sports in Saskatoon. Its maintenance, repair, and improvement are of the utmost priority. The Friends of the Bowl aim to revitalize the Bowl and provide Saskatoon with a multi-sport facility for the access and benefit of the community.

The intended result is to modernize the Bowl into a CFL regulation football field by replacing the existing grass field with artificial turf and upgraded lighting, scorekeeping, and sound systems.

The two-phase project promises to address immediate safety and adequacy concerns by converting the existing facility into a premier venue for ticketed outdoor sporting events - Let's Turf It!

The Friends of the Bowl is a volunteer led Foundation, partnered with city administrators to raise funds and implement long-overdue upgrades to the Bowl at Gordon Howe Park. The Board of Directors, incorporated in 2013, collectively represents a multitude of public interests. Members include (left to right): Louis Christ, Heather Bury, Robert Rohachuk, Bryan Kosteroski (Chairperson), Lane Wallace, Cary Humphrey, Allan Gibb, Brad Smith, and Steve Chisholm. Not shown: Johnny Marciniuk and Bruce Rempel.

"The Bowl has the greatest potential to positively impact sports in our city. I am delighted to do my part in helping bring this fundraising campaign to fruition." - GREG YUEL Campaign Chair

PHASE I - Installation of a CFL regulation artificial turf football field, Field lighting, Score clock, Sound system. Estimated cost = $4.2M.
Phase II - Improvements to on-site amenities such as Dressing rooms, Concession, Public washrooms, Ticket office*, Equipment storage*, Meeting rooms*, Shared office space*, Entrance plaza*. Estimated Cost = $6.8M. *still in development

3 POINTS TO WIN

  1. SAFE - Current demand for the field leaves the grass surface in sub-par, unsafe conditions. Artificial turf does not require rest between uses to regenerate - it's always safe, it's always ready.
  2. ACCESSIBLE - Artificial turf lengthens the playing season and field lighting increases daily playing times by several hours - this means more games and practices for more athletes over a longer season.
  3. SUSTAINABLE - The life cycle of an artificial turf field is 15 years. It has less long- term costs and allows for increased diversity of sport, whereas the current natural grass surface has a very short life span and requires maintenance practices that are neither economical nor sustainable.

Located in Saskatoon's historic Holiday Park neighbourhood, the Bowl at Gordon Howe Park opened in September of 1960 and has since become a local landmark, attracting athletes and spectators from across the province. The Bowl is the past and present home of multiple distinguished Saskatoon football programs, and has been the site of friendly high school rivalries for decades. It is no surprise that after 53 years of service the facility has outperformed its original life expectancy and is no longer able to meet present, let alone future demands. Our athletic tradition is strong, but improvements to the Bowl are necessary to maintain Saskatoon's competitiveness in the football community. The Bowl has been the home of football in our city for years and has fed all senior levels, including our champions the Hilltops, Valkyries, Huskies, and Saskatchewan Roughriders. The venue will be viable for eight months of the year instead of four. This will increase its annual usage from 135 hours to OVER 1600!

There is an overall shortage of quality, outdoor, well-lit sporting facilities in Saskatoon. Currently, Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park at the University of Saskatchewan is the city's only regulation artificial turf football field. While they try to accommodate the requests of local teams, scheduling is a challenge and open times are not ideal. As the city grows, an increasing number of players, coaches, officials, and fans are putting strain on the ability of our current facilities to satisfy rising demands. Other venues are needed to keep up with Saskatoon's thriving outdoor sport programs. Saskatoon needs safe, reliable, and appropriate sporting facilities that can accommodate the needs of a variety of outdoor sport programs. Football participation is increasing yearly; accordingly, enrollment in other outdoor sports such as rugby, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, ultimate frisbee, softball, track and field, and cross-country skiing is also on the rise. The Bowl has the potential to meet the demands of not only the football community, but also those of countless other local sport groups. The Bowl would become a venue that supports games, practices, and tournaments while attracting regional, national, and international events that would be of immeasurable value to our community.

"Female football participation is projected to increase over the next five years - the Bowl upgrades are critical for the development of girls' and women's football."
- MICHELLE DUCHENE, General Manager, The Saskatoon Valkyries Three Time WWCFL Champions

"Our league plays fifty games at the Bowl per season, yet the current field prevents us from delivering the calibre of high school football our athletes, players, and coaches deserve."
- BRAD SMITH, Educational Consultant, Saskatoon Secondary Schools Athletic Directorate (SSSAD)

"This project will increase safety to league standards and meet turf demands of other sport groups."
- BRYAN KOSTEROSKI, Chairperson for Friends of the Bowl Foundation and President of the Saskatoon Amateur Softball Association (SASA)

´┐╝On-site amenities such as the concession, public washrooms, and locker rooms will undergo significant changes, and the addition of a clubhouse could increase the facility's usability year-round. The existing natural grass surface follows a city maintenance schedule that limits field access to only four months per year, resulting in a five-fold increase to field rental cost compared to other local turf fields and making sufficient practice time unaffordable for many clubs. The only alternative is overuse, which compromises the safety of our athletes in order to meet demands. However, an artificial turf field is safe for activity come rain or shine and maintenance crews can remove snow from it without causing damage. This makes for longer seasons, with fewer cancelled games and practices due to bad weather. Teams will also be able to extend their training schedules; sport camps could start as early as the beginning of March and continue into late November. Furthermore, the facility could be booked by user groups for ticketed events such as tournaments. This will allow the collection of gate revenue to help defray costs - a benefit not readily available to many outdoor sport clubs through existing venues. With your help, the creation of an outdoor, well-lit, multi-sport facility with artificial turf will provide the much- needed capacity for a growing city, and celebrate the achievements of a vibrant and active football community! The clubhouse vision:


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