By Vanda Schmockel
Those curious about what a new stadium might look like were given a preview at City Hall on Sept. 19. The plans are part of the Regina Revitalization Initiative – a long-term plan involving a new stadium, housing where Mosaic stadium currently stands and a new commercial area to replace the CP railway lands just south of Dewdney Ave. But today’s announcement was all about the stadium.
A concept design of the stadium, drawn up by Pattern Design Ltd. of London, England, was presented, featuring a "sunken bowl" layout as well as an aerodynamic "spectator roof" that could accommodate the possibility of a closed roof at a later date.
The presentation panel confirmed that the designs were for reference only and that much could change between now and the prospective construction date – estimated to be the end of 2013.
Some say this announcement is putting the cart before the horse. Dawn Thomas is running for city council in Ward 9, and has organized a petition asking for a plebiscite on the use of public funds towards a new stadium. She says she has gathered over 5,000 signatures so far.
"I know a lot of people don’t agree with the consultation process," she said. "Some don’t agree with the domes. Some don’t agree with the location. The lack of consultation seems to be a huge concern."
"It’s been an ongoing project for years," countered councillor Wade Murray, whose Ward 9 would become home to all three phases of the initiative. "The Regina Revitalization Initiative is far greater than a stadium, so when we talk about people wanting to have a petition on a stadium, I liken it to looking at a thousand-piece puzzle, looking at 200 hundred pieces of it and deciding if I like the puzzle or not."
But the other pieces of that puzzle weren’t on view today, and the project’s website, which was also launched today, gives little information around what those other aspects of the initiative might look like.
Deputy city manager and chief financial officer Brent Sjoberg said that the city doesn’t anticipate any work to start on the stadium until the end of 2013, after a final design is approved. Construction on the railway lands and housing wouldn’t start until well after that.
For a view of what a new stadium could look like, the concept plans are available online at www.reginarevitalization.ca/