POLITICS

Roughrider fans get news they were all waiting for: New stadium for 2017

07/14/2012 03:37 EDT | Updated 09/13/2012 05:12 EDT
REGINA - Football fans in Saskatchewan have received the news they were waiting for — a deal has been struck to build a new stadium.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall announced the news to fans at the city's current football facility, Mosaic Stadium, prior to today's CFL game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the BC Lions.

The new 33,000-seat stadium will be built on Ervaz Place lands in Regina and is expected to be ready in early 2017.

Wall called the Roughriders "Canada's Team" and he said it deserves a world-class stadium.

The news was greeted by hoots and cheers from the stands.

The province says the facility won't have a roof for the field, but that it will be built so one can be added later.

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.

Under the memorandum of understanding announced Saturday, the $278 million required for the stadium will be funded through an $80 million grant from the province, along with $73 million from the City of Regina, a news release from the Saskatchewan government said. The Roughriders will raise $25 million.

The news release also says the province will provide a 100-million loan to the city, to be repaid with interest over 30 years. It says the loan would be primarily repaid through a $12 facility fee on games and major events held in the new stadium.

Work on the design for the new facility is still taking place.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013.