The dream of a new, domed stadium for the Saskatchewan Roughriders — one that might cost $100 million or more — is again generating some buzz in Regina.
According to Premier Brad Wall, the City of Regina has approached the province about building a new, covered stadium to replace Mosaic Stadium, where the Roughriders play now.
Roughrider President Jim Hopson said he thinks the idea may be going somewhere.
"When I first heard it, I thought it was a pipe dream, but the more we've talked about it, the more the government both at the city and provincial level have talked about it, I think it is a possibility," Hopson said.
However, Wall said a domed stadium isn't at the top of his priorities.
"You know, the people in Moose Jaw have been waiting for a hospital for a very long time," he said.
"We are the last province, other than P.E.I., to … [build] a children's hospital. We have still a billion-dollar pothole of infrastructure deficit in the highways. So there's a long list of priorities first."
Spending money on a domed football stadium might have been more appealing when oil was $130 US a barrel and not $40 US as it is now, he said, given that resource revenue is a major source of government income.
Among those who like the dome idea is Dave Ash, who runs Dash Tours in Regina and does a lot of business with the Riders.
A dome would be a great investment not just for the city but for the province as well, he said.
However, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging all sides to be cautious before committing any tax revenue to such a venture.
The City of Regina's own administrators are against a dome — or at least they were back in July, when the city released its long-term strategy for recreation facilities, said Lee Harding, spokesman for the federation's Saskatchewan chapter.
That report called for 12 new capital projects at a cost of $90 million.
Harding noted that on page 50 of the report, officials said they "could not support" a stadium expansion, because, among other things, it "would divert limited available capital from real community recreation needs and limit the city's ability to meet them."