A piece of Hilltops history came crumbling down as Saskatoon’s football dynasty made way for its new home on Tuesday.
The Canadian Junior Football League team said goodbye to their old clubhouse Tuesday morning in a demolition ceremony.
As a wrecking crew punched holes in the brick walls, team operational director and former player Chris Hengen-Braun said he felt some sadness.
“As much as everyone says it was run down, it was our clubhouse,” he told 650 CKOM.
“It’s a little tough to see it go.”
The facility, built in 1950, was originally meant to house a 30-person team. As the team expanded, the Hilltops made partial renovations over the years.
In August 2016, the organization announced it would pursue the construction of a new building to move into the modern age.
The new clubhouse was opened to the public after the demolition, giving people their first look at the 10,000 square foot facility.
Built at a cost of $3.2 million, it offers a larger locker room and a dedicated video training room.
Hengen-Braun said they brought some of their newer equipment over, but the old McDonald’s-style benches were left inside the old building when it was brought down.
“I think we’re just going to bury it there,” he said.
Team president Eric Nimilowich noted the Hilltops are excited about their new home, with players and coaches looking forward to continuing their winning ways.
He credited the community for supporting the team and helping raise the money to fund the clubhouse.
“It’s a good feeling,” he said. “We’re glad to be here.”
—With files from 650 CKOM’s Wray Morrison.