Saskatchewan

Domed stadium feasible for Regina: report

A domed stadium in Regina could be successful, a feasibility study released Monday says, although the question of who would pay to build the multimillion-dollar facility remains to be answered.

Financing up in the air

A domed stadium in Regina could be successful, a feasibility study released Monday says, although the question of who would pay to build the multimillion-dollar facility remains to be answered.

If built, the stadium would be a new home for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who currently play at Mosaic Stadium, an outdoor venue west of the downtown with roots going back 100 years. The new site would be on what is now the CP railway yards between the downtown and the warehouse district.

A new stadium could be self-sustaining and profitable, earning $1.1 million to $1.4 million a year, says the long-awaited, $1.1-million report on the potential project. 

It would host 31 events a year, including 11 football games. Seating would accommodate 33,000 but could be expanded to 45,000 for big events such as the Grey Cup and up to 53,000 for major concerts, the report suggests.

The estimated cost is $386.2 million, and a retractable roof would add $45 million, for a total of $431.2 million. The Roughriders have indicated a strong preference for the retractable roof, the report says.

'We need a new home,' Riders say

"This opportunity, I think, is once in a long time," said Rob Pletch, the chair of the Riders board of governors. "We are facing this need to do something … we need a new home."

To make the facility a reality, some combination of federal, provincial, city, private sector and Saskatchewan Roughrider financing would be needed.

The Saskatchewan government has ruled out using taxpayer dollars, but other possibilities could include a special lottery or casino proceeds. Two profitable casinos, in Regina and Moose Jaw, are owned by the province.

"Of course, the [Saskatchewan] Gaming Corporation was designed to provide entertainment facilities in the province so there's a natural linkage there," said Ken Cheveldayoff, the minister responsible for the project.

The government will look at its options and make a decision about the facility by late May or early June, Cheveldayoff said.

The report says if the new facility gets the go-ahead, it could be ready to open in 2014 or 2015.

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