Saskatchewan Roughriders unveil plans and design for fancy new stadium

The Saskatchewan Roughriders, already considered the jewel franchise of the CFL, is about to get a stadium that lives up to the team’s reputation. At an event in Regina on Thursday, the community-owned team, along with municipal and provincial politicians, and the architects unveiled the design of their highly anticipated new stadium.

Construction on the new facility will begin in June, and if it lives up to the design it could become the envy of the league. The stadium will have 33,000 permanent seats and flexibility to increase capacity to 40,000 for events like the Grey Cup. There are also 1,400 club seats, and 610 suite seats.

The Roughriders have played at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field since 1936, and their history on the Taylor Field site goes back to 1910. The stadium hosted the Grey Cup in 2013 but has been in need of replacement for some time.

The new stadium will cost upwards of $278 million but will be a state-of-the-art facility designed by renowned stadium architects HKS Inc., who recently did the new billion dollar Dallas Cowboys stadium. One of their goals in designing the new stadium was to reduce the effect of Regina’s harsh climate.

“The climate was one of the biggest design drivers on this project. We took into account wind, snow and sun,” Mark Williams of HKS said. “We then sculpted the design to reduce the impact of extreme climate conditions.”

The new stadium, which will also be called Mosaic Stadium as part of a 20-year naming rights agreement, will feature individual seats, twice as many washrooms and concessions stands, wider concourses, and a general admission lounge area.

The new stadium is part of a larger Regina revitalization plan which includes new housing and mixed-use buildings at the Taylor Field site once the team moves. The entire new commercial district is meant to connect the Dewdney Ave. area to the city’s downtown.

The CFL has seen a remarkable stadium-building boom in the last five years. B.C. Place, home of the Lions, had extensive renovations following the Vancouver 2010 Olympics which included building a retractable roof. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers just finished their first season in brand new Investors Group Field, though that stadium has already had its share of problems. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are moving into a new stadium, Tim Hortons Field, on the site of the old Ivor Wynne Stadium this summer. The expansion Ottawa Redblacks will be playing at a rebuilt Lansdowne Park park stadium in 2014. The newly named TD Place Stadium will open this summer. And it is becoming increasingly likely that the Toronto Argonauts will move to a renovated BMO Field sometime around 2017.

Construction on the new Mosaic Stadium begins this June and will be open in time for the Roughriders first game in the 2017 season. The new stadium will be more than 521,000 square feet and will be built at the Evraz Place grounds, a few blocks west of the current stadium.