City council approved a grandstand and press box for the new high performance sports field.
Two options were presented to council; stands with a capacity for 500 or 1,000. The city went with the larger.
Fort High Sting football coach liaison Peter Vandermeulen commented to council, saying he didn't want the Fort to become a 'laughing stock' like St Albert. The neighbouring city built their sports field in 2009 and left out seating, opting to instead ask fans to bring lawn chairs. Players changed in ATCO trailers and everyone had to use porta-potties.
Fort Minor Football Association vice president Bent Kellington urged council to approve the seating. Not doing so would paint the Fort as a 'Pinterest fail' with no vision to see the project completely through.
"Was I entirely supportive of it, putting more money towards it, no," said councillor Ed Sperling. "The reality is how do you support a sports field that we spent $10 million on and not have seating capacity and a press box to support the activities that go on on the field."
Sperling added the city is in the middle of negotiations for a field sponsor. The revenue would help cover the cost of the grandstand and press box, estimated at $580,440.
The remaining $148,535 left in the contingency fund would go towards cushioning the costs of the seating.
Although the field is supposed to be done by September, the grandstand and press box construction will add another two to three months to the total completion time.
The facility will be designed for football, field lacrosse, rugby and soccer on a FIFA regulated field.