Tomorrow is election day here in Regina. Our new stadium proposal has been one of the key election topics. We have dedicated a considerable amount of time and energy to evaluating all of the options for a new facility and I wanted to take this opportunity to reinforce that we feel strongly this is the right project, at the right price, at the right time.
Rider Nation will be the largest funding contributor to this project, with over $125 million of the $278 million dollar construction cost coming from the Riders and Rider fans via ticket facility fees.
Some of the community has expressed interest in a domed facility. We appreciate this desire however the cost of constructing and operating a dome is not fiscally viable at this time. That being said, the stadium will be roof-ready and can be enclose at a future date if so desired.
It has also been suggested that we look at refurbishing the existing Mosaic Stadium. We all feel a special connection to Mosaic stadium, which has provided us with some great memories. Unfortunately Mosaic is well beyond its years. The cost to properly refurbish and bring the stadium up to modern standards and codes is simply too high.
The current proposal will deliver a world class facility that will serve Rider fans and over 20 amateur sport and recreation groups for decades to come. We are concerned that if we don't move forward with this project now, the future costs will be significantly more.
We hope you share our enthusiasm for this proposal and encourage you to consider this issue as you cast your ballot on Wednesday.
Chairman, Saskatchewan Roughriders
Meanwhile, the team was back on the Mosaic Stadium turf getting ready for Saturday's home finale against Toronto.
It was the first time the players had been available since they clinched a playoff spot when Andy Fantuz couldn't control the snap thus negating a potential Luca Congi game winning field goal in Calgary in a game the Ti-Cats had to win to keep the Riders from clinching a spot. Darian Durant said he didn't feel bad for his old friend and teammate one bit and that getting in the playoffs means a lot especially to those who had to go through the miserable 2011 campaign. Durant also said he will be back under center against the Argos and that the injury that saw him limp off the field with the assistance of trainers after the Montreal loss was not a serious one. You can also expect Xavier Fulton back in the lineup after the big o-lineman missed the Alouettes game.
As for Head Coach Corey Chamblin, he wasn't making any apologies for getting in through the back door. He said the team has gotten enough wins to get in the playoffs and now the key is seeing they are in is to play good football down the stretch against the Argos and Lions so that they are ready for the semi-final weekend against an opponent that hasn't been determined yet, but will most likely be Calgary.