Report says Saskatchewan Roughriders need new dome to replace aging stadium

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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THE CANADIAN PRESS

REGINA - The aging home of the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders should be replaced with a domed stadium, according to a report released Monday.

The $70,000 document prepared for the Saskatchewan government says Mosaic Stadium with its wooden benches and poor access to seating areas, washrooms and concession stands should be replaced with a new all-weather, multi-use facility in Regina.

The report pegs the cost of such a stadium at about $350 million, plus land costs, and says it could be ready in time for Saskatchewan to host the Grey Cup in 2013.

The Riders like the idea.

"Next year the Roughriders will be 100 years old," said Rob Pletch, the chairman of the Roughriders board. "It's been a long time coming for us to have a league-leading facility which we could call home."

"We can't put up very much longer with an older stadium so a domed stadium would obviously meet that need."

The report notes that while Mosaic Stadium is structurally sound, it's also one of the oldest in North America. It was originally built as a rugby field in 1910 and renovated numerous times over the years to add seating and other facilities.

The report looked at four options: minor renovations to Mosaic, a major redevelopment of the stadium, a new open-air stadium and an all-weather, multi-use stadium.

However, the report says the first option would be little more than a facelift and stadium usage would stay the same with the second choice. It says a new open air facility would face the same challenge as the current stadium - it can't be used year round.

A new multi-use stadium could seat 38,000 and be expandable to 50,000 seats for major events. It could also be used year round, according to the report.

Saskatchewan Enterprise Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said Monday that he knows people love the green and white.

But Cheveldayoff said the province needs more information before deciding whether to move ahead with a new stadium. That's why the Saskatchewan government - along with the football team, the city of Regina and the federal government - announced Monday that they'll spend $1 million on a feasibility study to be completed by next January.

"We recognize that Mosaic Stadium is nearing its 100th birthday and has served us well, but something needs to be done," said Cheveldayoff.

"But make no mistake about it - no decisions have been made on a new facility."

Organizations: Roughriders, CFL, Saskatchewan Enterprise

Geographic location: REGINA, Saskatchewan, Mosaic Stadium North America

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