The city of Waterloo is facing a bill that is likely to exceed $50,000 to restore electricity to Riverfront Stadium following an electrical fire on January 4th.
Waterloo Leisure Services Director Paul Huting says investigators don’t yet know what caused the fire — or the exact amount of damage it caused. “As far as we know, there was a short or some type of malfunction in the power system. It did significant damage,” Huting says. “(The fire) burned back into the lines quite a ways and we’re still accessing the total cost.”
The stadium, itself, was not damaged by the fire, but the entire electrical system was knocked out. Huting says the now-scorched utility panels were built outside the stadium in 2008 on an elevated platform to protect them from flooding. He’s hopeful winter weather won’t hamper repairs.
“If the conduit is damaged, there could be some underground work to be done and I’m not sure what the status is on the among frost in the ground,” Huting says. “Those are the things we’ll be doing … if the conduit isn’t damaged, we probably could pull through it.”
The Waterloo Bucks play their home games at Riverfront Stadium. A generator is currently supplying power to the team’s business office, which is inside the stadium. Huting says it’s important that the electrical system be repaired as soon as possible, but no timeline has been set.
“We need to be up and running before the Bucks’ season because there are other events scheduled there,” Huting says. “We’ll be moving forward with developing plans and specifications and putting (the project) out for bids as quickly as we can.” The Waterloo Bucks’ home opener at Riverfront Stadium is scheduled for June 3rd.
(Story and photo by Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Waterloo)