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Posted on August 4th, 2015

Our Changing Landscape – Investors Group Field

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with time series of medium resolution RapidEye satellite imagery. The RapidEye archive dates back to late 2008 and already contains more than 5 billion square kilometers of data. In honor of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, this month we look at the construction of Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Canada – one of the six stadiums the World Cup will be played in this year.

The RapidEye Constellation

Click on the image above to see an animation of 5-meter natural color RapidEye imagery collected over Investors Group Field on July 5, 2010, September 15, 2011, June 6, 2012, September 23, 2012 and September 3, 2013. In this animation, you can see the progress of construction on Investors Group Field from a patch of open grass to a 33,000-seat open air stadium. (Images Courtesy: RapidEye)

RapidEye is a constellation of five 5-meter medium resolution satellites each offering five spectral bands of information. The RapidEye constellation offers daily revisits to every location on the planet with a huge footprint that is 77-km wide. The data is priced competitively with a starting cost of $1.28 per square kilometer for all five spectral bands – academics do receive discounts. RapidEye adds a fifth band, the red edge, to the ‘traditional’ multispectral set of blue, green, red and near-infrared (NIR). The additional spectral data in the red edge band allows users to extract more useful land ‘information’ than can be from traditional 4-band imagery sources. When RapidEye imagery is ordered as a Level 3A Orthorectified product, images from multiple dates are extremely well registered, making it the ideal data source for Our Changing Landscape.

Investors Group Field, Winnipeg, Canada

Unfortunately, Investors Group Field appears to be one of those construction efforts that was relatively doomed from the beginning. Conversation started in 2007 to replace the then stadium of the Canadian Football League team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, called Canada Inns Stadium. After a string of stymied proposals to local government officials, the plans to build Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Canada were finally approved on April 2, 2009. In 2010, construction on the new stadium finally commenced. Scheduled to open in 2012, delay after delay pushed back opening day until May 26, 2013 when the stadium hosted its first event, a religious celebration called One Heart Winnipeg.

Since its completion, the 33,422 seat stadium has been plagued with issue after issue, including cracks in concrete, obstructed views and financial woes. In fact, in 2015, the group managing Investors Group Field sued the construction company and architects who built the stadium, Stuart Olson Construction Ltd. and Raymond S.C. Wan Architect Inc., citing repeated issues with the building’s design. Originally estimated to cost $115 million, the final price tag to build the stadium came in at $210 million. That’s one expensive building especially given the delays in its construction and the poor quality of the design.

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