Status Update on Stadium Seems to Signal a Change in Direction

Here’s a link to a status update  on the Regina Revitilization Initiative that I believe will be presented to City Council at its April 30 meeting. Reviewing it, several interesting points jump out.

First, negotiations to acquire the CP lands between downtown Regina and the Warehouse District are ongoing, but substantial progress has apparently been made, and the city is hopeful of concluding negotiations before the end of May.

As far as funding goes, the report notes that both the provincial and federal government have put the kibosh on funding a stand-alone sports facility. The broader scope of the RRI, which would involve the redevelopment of the old Mosaic Stadium site should a new stadium be built, might open the door to some provincial and federal involvement, but nothing concrete has been hammered out at present.

The really interesting stuff starts on page four under the heading Stadium Design Considerations. The authors of the report acknowledge that the push so far has been for a fixed or retractable roofed stadium that would qualify as a multi-purpose entertainment facility (proposed design pictured above). While there would be some initial economic spinoffs from the construction of such a facility, which was costed several years ago at $431 million, but now would surely cost substantially more, the report concludes that such facilities entail significant operating expenses and experience in other North America cities has shown that they cannot generate enough revenue to be self-sustaining. That’s why most stadiums that are being built these days, in cities far larger than Regina, are open air.

On page seven, the report turns its attention to the stadium location. Again, the authors acknowledge that the push has been to locate the stadium on the soon to be vacated CP lands, with the goal of creating a magnet for activity in the downtown area and Warehouse District. But the report suggests that Evraz Place should not be overlooked as a possible location for a new stadium. That’s city-owned property, and it could create synergies with existing facilties in the area like Brandt Centre, Co-operaters Centre, the Fieldhouse and Lawson Aquatic Centre. It would still be possible to build connections with the downtown and Warehouse District, and would also leave the CP lands and current Mosaic Stadium site available for mixed-use redevelopment.

I’m not saying that I agree with everything in the report, but it at least stays within the realm of reality as opposed to most of the pie-in-the-sky talk that’s driven the agenda so far.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your inferior human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

6 thoughts on “Status Update on Stadium Seems to Signal a Change in Direction”

  1. The location question is a good one.
    Why built in the city, as we know it, at all?
    If X amount of fans come from out of town, wouldn’t it make a bit more sense to build it adjacent to the #1 or #11?
    I’m sure the land would be cheaper to buy too.
    And the construction out in some field, wouldn’t cause traffic hell downtown for 2 years +- .

  2. Someone within City Hall told me that CP Rail is retaining a spur line within the land they are selling, which makes the area too small for a stadium. I wonder why this fact has not come out? The City already owns Mosaic stadium and the land it sits on. This project is starting to remind me of the old Plains hotel site. No one has a clear direction, and we are told not to worry.

  3. Re #2 My understanding is that nothing is being done to the rail line itself. It will continue to run through the city. What’s changing is that CP is moving its container facility out to the Global Transportation Hub by the airport. That will free up 30 or so acres between Sask Drive and Dewdney and Broad and Albert. But the rail line will still run through the area, and nothing can be done about that, short of relocating the entire line outside the city. That idea was floated in the late 70s, I believe, but stalled pretty quickly.

    Re #1 I’m not a fan of locating the stadium on the outskirts of town. That would make access totally vehicle dependent, and is something that Saskatoon regrets doing, I think, with Credit Union Centre.

  4. Evraz Place might be a good location; there are big chunks of the land there that are starting to resemble a garbage dump. Plus it is adjacent to both Lewvan and Sask Drive…. if the city extends Sask Drive out to the new Pinkie Road bypass as it seems to have planned, the location will become even more easily accessible from outside of town (at least from the West) than it already is. If the city can then free up BOTH the CP lands AND the Taylor Field lands, the possibilities look pretty good for energizing the middle of town.

  5. The spur line element is nothing new, it’s been reported on numerous times. Maybe not as well as it should have been, people always get tripped up on it. They assume CP moving operations out there includes the lines, but you can’t really get rid of the tracks.

  6. #5 you are right.The track isn’t going anywhere.
    #3 Think shuttle bus service like there is now.

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