A tour through the new Gee-Gees Field and facility on Lees campusPhoto Credit: Marta Kierkus
For more than 100 years the University of Ottawa’s football team didn’t have a stadium to call home on campus, but that changed last year when the brand new Gee-Gees Field opened on Lees campus.
After a season of settling in, the Fulcrum was welcomed into their team facilities to take a look at our football players’ new home.
The university purchased Lees campus from Algonquin College in 2007, and upgraded it in recent years to house the football team, classrooms, and labs.
An entire wing of the campus is dedicated to the team and its operations. The massive locker room, divided into offensive and defensive areas, offers a window into the team’s shared mentality.
Written on the whiteboards are the words “one heart, one mind, one soul,” along with the three most important things the team is striving for this season:
- Gee-Gees family
- Vanier Cup
- 12-0perfect season
There’s also a good amount of lightheartedness to be seen in the locker room, including the team’s pet beta fish and a PlayStation 2 console with some classic titles.
The facility includes a new medical room equipped with training tables and ice baths, all new offices for coaching and game-day staff, and storage rooms for equipment.
A walk down halls plastered with action photos of former Gee-Gees takes you directly out to the field, which is typically packed with 4,152 screaming fans on game days. Attendance is expected to rise in the near future; the university plans to add bleachers of equal size to the opposite side of the field when the city completes construction on the nearby Queensway, effectively doubling the maximum capacity. An expanded stadium will be key to the future of Gee-Gees football at the U of O.
History has proven how successful the program can be, and as the years pass, the team is rising once again as a contender in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference.
With the total capacity on the rise to more than 8,000, Gee-Gees Field will become the stadium with the third-most seating in the OUA, behind Western’s TD Waterhouse Stadium and Queen’s Richardson Stadium. For the long-vagrant Gee-Gees football team, it really is home sweet home.