Built in 1978 to host the Commonwealth Games, the stadium seats 60,081 (for regular season football) but can be expanded. On September 5, 2003, the record for largest crowd to attend a regular season Eskimos home game was set at 62,444 against the Calgary Stampeders. The largest crowd in stadium history was the Grey Cup game on November 24, 2002 with 62,531 in attendance.
The stadium is the largest in permanent capacity in Canada and one of the few major facilities in that country to have a natural grass playing surface. As such, Commonwealth Stadium often plays host to international soccer matches and tournaments, and is the home field for the country's women's national soccer team. It had also been the home field for Canada's men's national team until the 2007 opening of BMO Field in Toronto. In rugby union, the stadium has hosted Churchill Cup matches and hosted some 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup matches, including the final.
According to the Eskimos website, the stadium currently has the largest and most advanced video screen jumbotron in the world. It measures 40' by 24' and with a 16:9 picture format.
The stadium has hosted the 1978 Commonwealth Games, the 1983 Universiade Summer Games, the 2001 IAAF World Championships in Athletics, the final match of the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship in 2002, the Heritage Classic outdoor NHL hockey game in 2003 and a international friendly match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps in May 2008. The CFL Grey Cup game has been played at Commonwealth Stadium on three occasions: in 1984, 1997 and 2002. It has also hosted many concerts, including U2, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Tim McGraw, the Rolling Stones, and The Police on their 30th anniversary reunion tour.
Commonwealth stadium was last re-sodded in April 2007 in preparation for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Despite the completion of the soccer-specific BMO Field in Toronto, Commonwealth Stadium remains a major venue for soccer in Canada due to its capacity and, more importantly, its natural grass playing surface which BMO Field fails to offer.