Ahh, Concordia Stadium. Every year, following months of maintenance, the natural grass field situated in the west-end of Montreal is ready by late August to receive fans for a variety sporting events.
What a sight…the grass is freshly cut, vines scale the fences surrounding the field, and the gothic buildings that make up Concordia’s Loyola Campus give this stadium a slight New England feel.
That is, until late October rolls around.
Used for the duration of three months, the playing surface must accommodate Concordia’s football, soccer and rugby teams. Furthermore, the field is also utilized as the practice and playing location to the football and soccer teams of Loyola High School, a neighboring private school.
Not only do these athletic teams leave the fragile field in bad condition, but the wet autumns of Montreal don’t help much either. Still etched in everyone’s mind is the Nov. 3 2001 QIFC semi-final game against McGill University, which the Stingers lost 11-8. During that game, held in torrential rain and fog, the field received the worst beating of its life. In everyone’s mind, this game was the point of no return: new turf, made of synthetic material this time around, was badly needed.
As they say, one man’s garbage is another man’s fortune. As Concordia got the word out that they were in dire need of a new field, FieldTurf, a Montreal-based turf company, saw this as the perfect opportunity of gaining some respect in the province of Quebec.
Although FieldTurf is rather prominent, with over 400 installations worldwide, the company is largely unknown in its home province. “We’re very big elsewhere, especially in the United States,” commented Darren Gill, marketing manager at FieldTurf. “[But] Laval plays on AstroPlay, Universit