07/24/2012 01:55 EDT | Updated 09/22/2012 05:12 EDT

Regina city council votes to move forward with new football stadium

REGINA - Boos greeted the decision by Regina city council to pass a memorandum of understanding that will advance the construction of a new $278 million, 33,000-seat football stadium.

A boisterous cry rose up after the seven councillors in attendance cast their vote in favour of accepting a $100 million loan from the province.

That and an $80 million grant will bolster the city's own $73 million contribution toward the construction of the facility.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are also expected to drum up $25 million through sponsorship and naming rights opportunities.

Before the unanimous vote was taken, members of the public pleaded with council to either put the decision to a referendum or delay a vote until after this fall's election.

Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says it's a blow to citizens, saying public consultation was lacking.

"I have watched women return to abusive relationships with their children because they cannot find adequate housing," complained Mona Hill, a Regina woman who works with low-income people.

She told councillors that affordable housing is a much bigger priority than a new stadium.

Coun. Mike O'Donnell insisted the city will still make strides forward in its affordable housing efforts alongside the stadium as part of the larger Regina Revitalization Initiative, the development project that includes the stadium as its first phase.