POLITICS

Saskatchewan tosses around new stadium pitch from Regina, but no price tag

04/30/2012 06:00 EDT | Updated 06/30/2012 05:12 EDT
REGINA - The Saskatchewan government is tossing around an updated proposal from the city of Regina for a new stadium, but won't say how much the province is being asked to kick in.

A report for city council shows a formal proposal for funding was provided to the provincial government Aug. 24.

"It's a proposal that outlines some of their vision and some of their wants as far as the proposal and it itemizes some of the details of the revitalization that they're looking at for downtown," Ken Cheveldayoff, minister responsible for the proposed facility, said Monday.

But Cheveldayoff refused to say what the province is being asked to do or put a dollar figure on any possible contribution.

"At some point I'm sure that information will become public," he said.

The city of Regina announced a year ago that it is pushing ahead with plans for a redevelopment project that includes building a new home for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. The plan includes new residential development on the old Mosaic Stadium site, where the Riders currently play.

The announcement came after the province punted plans for a domed stadium because of a lack of federal funding.

Cheveldayoff said in March 2011 that in order for a project like this to come to fruition, all levels of government, along with the private sector, would have to come together and make it happen.

The report said the city has been working to determine the status of provincial funding to support the overall project, including the stadium construction.

It said the status of provincial support for the project is currently "the most significant element that could negatively affect the project," as the stadium procurement process that is currently being planned will not be able to be approved by city council until more formal commitments of funding have been provided.

Cheveldayoff could not say when the province would respond to the city.

"We're looking at the ideas that the city of Regina has analyzed and put forward and anything's possible," said Cheveldayoff.

"I'm not saying there's anything off the table or on the table. I'm saying we're waiting for their information."

The Opposition NDP argued Monday that taxpayers deserve to know what they could be on the hook for if the province is back in the funding game.

"The people of Saskatchewan deserve better from this government than 'it's bigger than a breadbox and smaller than Montreal,'" said New Democrat Warren McCall.

There has long been talk about building a new home for the Roughriders.

Mosaic Stadium, with its bench-style seating, is structurally sound but it is also one of the oldest buildings in the Canadian Football League. It was originally built as a rugby field in 1910 and has been renovated numerous times over the years.

The team said in March 2010 that it's getting to the point where Mosaic will no longer be usable.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders unveiled plans in February to spend $14 million to upgrade Mosaic Stadium and add thousands of temporary seats to through the next few years and the 2013 Grey Cup.