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For the first time in its 15 year history, Foote Field has been converted into a year-round facility thanks to the installation of an inflatable dome.

By NICOLE GRAHAM, with contributions from ERIC UPTON

First there was the Astro Dome. Then there was the Sky Dome. And now…The Dome at Foote Field.

That’s right folks. The latest in a line of great domes is now up and running at Foote Field. As it stands — at 473’ long x 236’ wide x 72’ high — The Dome at Foote Field is the largest, air-supported dome structure in all of Alberta, turning the seasonal field into a year-long training facility.

“We’re excited to be able to provide a year-round facility to both the University of Alberta student-athletes and the Edmonton sport community,” says Cheryl Harwardt, director of Campus & Community Recreation at the University of Alberta.

The playing surface under the Dome can be divided into as many as four separate sections with curtains at both 20 yard lines and the 55 yard line. Also featured in the Dome is a multi-lane, 140 meter track with a jump pit that will be available to the track and field community of Edmonton for use.

Having a community-accessible sprint track will help meet the demands for training space during the winter months, explains Harwardt.

“We are working the our partners in the track and field community, including Athletics Alberta and the Edmonton Track and Field Council, to support the development of track and field athletes in our community meet their training needs.”

Netting will separate the field from the track lane and jump pit as to ensure safety of track athletes when both spaces are in use.

Programming for the Dome at Foote Field will be predominately hosted through Golden Bears and Pandas athletics and the Green and Gold Sport System and will feature sport specific and physical literacy evidence-based programming to enhance the skills of participants. The space will also be used for special events such as the Canada West Women's Rugby Sevens Series, which takes place January 21-22.

The first public event in the Dome will take place on Saturday, December 10th. Obstacle Fitness is an hour-long fitness event hosted by Campus & Community Recreation’s Fitness team, River City Fitness and Fitset. The free event, which takes place from 10 – 11 am, will use unconventional items to functionally work muscles and work up a sweat. Registration is still open for Obstacle Fitness.

The total cost of The Dome at Foote Field was $3.7 million. Of that amount, $600,000 was raised with two, $300,000 donations — one from the Eldon Foote Foundation and the other from the 2001 World Championships in Athletics Legacy Fund. The province also provided $500,000 through the Community Facility Enhancement Program grant.

The Dome will be over Foote Field from late November to end of April on an annual basis.