Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Morning Sentimonies: New Stadium

This past weekend marked a climatic finish to the Olympics for Canada… and by that I mean Kevin Martin and his rink defeated Norway and their fancy pants (seriously, curling has enough problems being recognized as a legitimate sport as it is, the last thing it needs is for the face of the sport to be wearing pants that appear to be stolen from a band of traveling clowns) and we exerted our dominance in the field of speed skating in groups of 3. Oh yeah and we won some hockey game of great national and international significance in dramatic fashion too.

Anywho, I assumed with the Olympics out of the way we would see more football news… evidently I was wrong as the CFL newsreel this morning was as non-existent as Azerbaijan’s medal count.

Fortunately late this morning some big news came out, saving me from trying to piece together a post using only obscure Olympic references and big words I randomly pulled from the dictionary (I was planning to open with “eviscerate the proletariat”).

The long awaited feasibility study looking into a potential new stadium in Regina was released today.

I have been excited about the prospect of a new stadium since discussions first began on the issue many months ago and skimming through the study only increased my excitement. All I can say is Wow!

What began as an idea for a new stadium has evolved into a total redevelopment of Dewdney Ave. complete with parks, walkways to downtown, new businesses and of course a new domed stadium at the centre of it all. The proposed stadium would have a capacity of 33,000 seats, could be expanded to 45,000 for things like the Grey Cup and would include a permanent Roughrider Hall of Fame. All for the low price of $386 million (and an extra $45 million if we want the roof to retract) and I bet if we haggled with the sales people enough we could get them to throw in all weather floor mats for free.

A decision on whether to go ahead with the project is expected in the spring.

Realistically, the decision has already been made… this project WILL go ahead (mark my words). The only thing the government needs to figure out at this point is how they are going to spin the announcement in a way that won’t cause public outrage.

A little over a year ago, there would have been no issue at all with this project. The economy was booming and the government had so much money that they could pretty much solve any problem they had with their chequebooks. But the recession and complete collapse of potash revenues have made things far more difficult. I mean they just delayed funding for the children’s hospital, are delaying funding increases to education and municipalities, and still have yet to settle a contract with a big chunk of provincial health care workers. To say they don’t have any money for these groups and then turn around and write a massive cheque for a football stadium would be political suicide (seriously you’d be better off to publicly denounce Tommy Douglas, Ron Lancaster, Gordie Howe and Sandra Schmirler simultaneously).

But as I said, this is a done deal so they have to get very creative with how they fund the project. A large chunk will have to come from the private sector and by all reports there are private investors who are ready to pony up. The feds, City and Riders will also kick in a chunk of the bill. As for the remaining chunk, that’s where the province comes in. One idea that I have heard includes funding the project through a crown corporation like Sask Gaming Corp and I imagine that it will end up being something of this nature.

However, given how much I want this to succeed, I’ve taken it upon myself to come up with ideas of how the province can fund the new stadium without public outrage. I don’t ask much in return, just the satisfaction of helping out… and of course a gold statue of myself on the steps of the new stadium (we’ll talk)

Top 5 Ideas for Funding the New Stadium

5 – Take $25 million to Vegas and play roulette

All on black, All on black, All on red, All on black… just like that you have $400 million.

4 – Hire a fleet of helicopters and steal someone else’s stadium

It’s cheaper, quicker and way cooler than building it ourselves.

3 – Cut Funding for Orphanages

Who are they going to tell? Their parents?

2 – Amass a bunch of smaller private investors.

I’ve been pushing for
Wisers Whiskey Milkyway Empire Hotel Hillbilly Vac Shack Rider Prophet Media Source Adult Video Stupid Michael Bishop Stadium for close to a year now and still think the idea has merit.

1 – Temporary Refund Adjustment

It sure beats a tax


Anonymous said...

Love the Riders but would be absolutely sickened if they build the new stadium before a childrens hospital! People should be ashamed that they are even considering the dome before the hospital!

-Pure Disgust

whoyadally said...

maybe it could be a Children's Hospital slash Rider Stadium, all in one. kids like football . ..

Rider Prophet said...

whoyadally - That's just the kind of outside the box thinking we need to make this project a success. We could tack on a war memorial and a first nations cultural centre just to make sure we have all the bases covered.

Pure disgust - that is one of the best reactions I have ever gotten to my highly biased commentary. Only thing you were missing was "Won't somebody please think of the children!?!"

As for the hospital, as I understand it the funding has just been deferred to the upcoming budget year so the plan is still to go ahead with the hospital (just later than first anticipated). I can't see the government being crazy enough to move forward on a stadium and not the hospital.

Pure Disgust said...

HAHAHAH see why I get angry!!!

A second domed stadium proposal has been made for Regina, this time by a First Nations group that wants to build a stadium, casino and hotel complex worth $1.2 billion.

Read more:

Rider Prophet said...

Yeah that proposal is something. While I do like the fact that a deep pocketed investor like the Seminoles in interested in ponying up big cash... I think their idea is way to massive. I don't see Regina being able to support a 55,000 seat stadium and Vegas style casino... which will be across the street from "high class" bars like Gabbos.