Saskatchewan

Regina prepares for CFL West Final weekend

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are set to host the CFL’s West Final for only the third time in 43 years this weekend, and the city is prepared for the festivities.

Draught beer lines will not be used game day, but other options are available

Mosaic Stadium in Regina will play host to the West Final over the weekend, a game that features an old rivalry between the Riders and the Bombers. (Canadian Press)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are set to host the CFL's west final for only the third time in 43 years this weekend. 

After beating out the Edmonton Eskimos 23-13 at the start of November, the Riders earned their 13th win of the season — a feat they hadn't achieved in 50 years — and solidified their spot atop the CFL's west division. 

Now, the Green-and-White are set to take on an age-old rival in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, with a trip to Calgary for the Grey Cup on the line.. The teams have battled it out three times in 2019, with the Riders taking two wins in those matchups.

Kickoff for the Western Final is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. CST on Sunday. The forecast is calling for clouds with a high of 6 C according to Environment Canada.

In a press release, the Riders said the club is the game is already close to a sell-out. As of Friday evening there are roughly 1,000 tickets left for the game.

If the game sells out, the club said it will be the first time Mosaic Stadium has sold out a playoff game since 2009.

According to the local hotel association, about 55 per cent of the hotel rooms in Regina are booked. 

"There's still plenty of accommodation space, ready to welcome all kinds of fans into the city for the big game," Tracy Fahlman, president and CEO of the Regina Hotels Association said.

But the association expected more rooms will be booked through the weekend. 

"We're seeing more and more of a trend of last minute ticket sales as well as hotel room pickups for events," she said. 

The NHL's Heritage Classic, the last major event in the Queen City, saw about 92 per cent of the hotel rooms booked in Regina. 

Meanwhile, at Mosaic Stadium, draught beer won't be sold because the stadium had to be prepared for freezing weather. Draught beer lines have been drained as part of the winterization process.

"Because our beverage partnerships on the rest of Evraz Place are Great Western Breweries and the beverage partners at the stadium are Molson, we don't have much to do with those Molson draught if we sell them all out," Tim Reid, with Real Exhibition Association Limited said. 

"The best way for us to manage this is to transition to cans and make sure that we don't have a lot of inventory left over."

Reid said when pop and beer are moving through the lines on a consistent basis it's not an issue. But when there are two or three week gaps between games things become challenging to maintain. 

Bottles that are sold will have their caps removed, as per CFL policy, to prevent fans from throwing them on the field according to Reid. 

He recommended people bring cash to the game in the event the weather turns foul and debit machines freeze.

Expect Mosaic Stadium to be packed on Sunday, as the Riders and Bombers square off in the West Final. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

Chantelle Kraushaar, general manager of Victoria's Tavern in downtown Regina, said the restaurant is planning for a busy day. 

"It's huge for business. It really drives the economy downtown," Kraushaar said. "When we can fill our hotels and when we've got a lot of people from out of town, you can definitely see an influx in the downtown area, which is really good for us."

Kraushaar said the restaurant is bringing back a fan favourite brunch menu item for the weekend: homemade tater tots.

With files from Fiona Odlum