Public safety being cited as one of the reasons the city of Kitchener’s Community and Infrastructure Services committee directed staff to budget for the removal of the grandstand seating from Centennial stadium next year.

Director of Enterprises, Kim Kugler, tells 570 News there just isn’t a need for a structure that seatc 3,000 people outdoors in the city anymore. She says a majority of the events that require seating usually draw 100 to 200 people. Portable bleachers could be rented for special events requiring the additional seating.  

Last year during an inspection the grandstand was deemed unsafe for structural reasons and subsequently closed.

Kugler says it would cost taxpayers a million dollars more to repair the structure than remove it.

She says the city will also explore developing a better quality track and field facility with the region.

In a release, Councillor Kelly Galloway, who chairs the committee, says “I think it’s important to understand that we are not removing Centennial Stadium or Jack Couch Park; we are only taking apart the grandstand. Like others, I have many fond memories of participating in events at Centennial Stadium and sitting in the grandstand to watch various events. But this comes down to community safety, as well as our ability to get the facility back up to speed so people can use it. In order to do so, the grandstand needs to come down.”

The plan still needs council approval.