Saskatchewan

Mosaic Stadium has been transformed into 'Iceville'

Saskatchewan's biggest football stadium now gets to call itself Saskatchewan's biggest skating rink.

Only 30 people will be allowed to skate at a time

The grounds crew has been working around the clock for a month preparing "Iceville". (Thomas Gagné/CBC)

Saskatchewan's biggest football stadium now gets to call itself Saskatchewan's biggest skating rink.

More than 350,000 gallons of water have flooded the home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders — on purpose.

The Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) is calling the refashioned stadium 'Iceville.'

Starting on New Year's Eve, members of the public will get a chance to skate on the giant rink for free.

Families can sign up for 45-minute time slots on the Evraz Place website.

Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, only 30 people will be able to skate in the stadium at a time.

When you sign up, you'll receive tickets for your time slot. That way, stadium staff can ensure the appropriate number of people are using the rink at any given time.

Mayor thinks rink will be much-needed positivity boost for city

Regina Mayor Sandra Masters said the rink will give people a unique opportunity to connect with others.

"It shows what I always say about Regina," Masters said, "we're the most resilient bunch, and creative and innovative to live where we live."

Work on the 10,000-square-metre rink began at the start of December. REAL president and CEO Tim Reid said a crew of 24 people has been working around the clock, even over Christmas, to help get the rink ready.

Reid said the idea for project came together after a different idea fell apart. Originally, REAL was hoping to host a winter carnival, similar to Queen City Ex.

Both the Queen City Ex and the winter carnival had to be scrapped due to COVID-19.

REAL CEO and president Tim Reid stands field level at Iceville. (Thomas Gagné/CBC)

At that point, Reid said they started asking themselves: "How do we create an amazing outdoor experience?"

Hundreds of thousands of gallons later, that outdoor experience is just about ready for the public.

Reid said being on the ice after the sun goes down, with snow swirling around, is like being in a snow globe.

"It is such an amazing experience to be down here," Reid said. "Most of us don't have the ability to stand at field level, or ice level, at a place where the Saskatchewan Roughriders normally play, or frankly the Calgary Flames and the Winnipeg Jets played a year ago."

Even though skating is free, families are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items as a way to pay it forward.

The rink will be in operation until February 28.

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