Halifax Stadium concept plan engages the public
CEI Architecture recently teamed with Halifax architects Fowler Bauld & Mitchell on the concept plan for a new 10,000-seat stadium in Halifax. The project reflects the Halifax Regional Municipality’s (HRM) goal to be named one of the Canadian venues for the 2014 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The project is in the second phase of the due diligence process following a business case prepared by Sierra Planning & Management, who were also involved in the second phase of the work. Halifax has a well-developed public engagement policy, and there were four public sessions within the three-month duration of the project. Online and telephone surveys rounded out the engagement process.
The Phase 2 Report included a site selection process, the development of a building program, concept design, costing, and an economic impact assessment. FIFA required a stadium venue that would accommodate 20,000 spectators during the event, of which a minimum of 10,000 would remain in a legacy or post-event configuration. In addition, the design would need to accommodate, through a combination of built and temporary components, the unique requirements on any major international sports event including player security, medical and dope testing areas, commercial opportunities, and an appropriate area for dignitaries, VIPs and sponsors.
The proposed design includes a total of 10,000 fixed seats divided equally on both sides of the field of play. The addition of 10,000 temporary seats specifically for the FIFA event will create an intimate soccer venue. In a football configuration, additional temporary seating could allow the stadium to grow to 24,000. One option studied and favoured by the Steering Committee was a 14,000 fixed-seat stadium again, with all seating on the sides. In this option there is the long-term ability to achieve an overall seating capacity of up to 30,000 seats in the football configuration.
The Phase 2 Report was accepted by HRM Council on December 6. Their efforts are now focused on bringing additional funding partners to the project.