The home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders has a long and proud history. From its earliest days as a simple Rugby field to its current stature as home to the 1995 and 2003 Grey Cups, Mosaic Stadium certainly has a storied past.
The first Rider teams played on the field of Park Hughes (located at the current Mosaic Stadium site). Families would come and circle the rugby field to watch the games. Over the years, temporary seating was put in place for fans, but many came and chose to sit on the grass and watch their favourite team.
In 1927, to accommodate the growing number of fans, Park Hughes and the adjoining Park de Young were reconfigured to provide a better venue. More seating was added, but spectators still showed up and parked their cars at the touchline to watch the action.
In 1936, a number of improvements were made to the field to make the fans more comfortable. Gone were the days of fans sitting along the sideline or jostling for position to see the action. New seating was built to accommodate the growing crowds. Also, a new press box was built and facilities were provided for radio broadcasts of the games.
In 1946, another major improvement was made to Park de Young. Prior to that year, the field at the site had never had turf. Each season, a new load of topsoil was dumped on the field to make it playable. Due to the dry Saskatchewan summers, the park became a dustbowl by the end of the season. But in 1946, the Regina Recreation Board agreed to seed the field to provide a quality surface for games to be played.
The year 1947 marked the renaming of Park de Young. The year before, Neil “Piffles” Taylor passed away. An instrumental part of the early development of the Roughriders, Taylor had been a player, coach, and executive for the team since its founding. Following Taylor’s sudden death at the age of 48, the City of Regina renamed the Riders’ home, Taylor Field.
In 1948, a $47,000 investment was made to build a 4,500-seat grandstand on the west side of the playing area.
For the next several years the stadium remained relatively unchanged. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s when it was agreed that it was time to move Taylor Field into the future. A major renovation was done to the stadium, which included the addition of a second level to the west-side grandstand, new offices and dressing room facilities as well as new artificial turf. The renovations allowed the Riders to move all operations into Taylor Field. It was a major step forward for the team.
In 1988, the Roughriders replaced the first artificial turf with a new type of system called OmniTurf. Unlike AstroTurf, OmniTurf was an inlay turf system, which relied on 300 tons of sand to hold it in place (rather than the traditional glued-down system). Over the years, a number of problems occurred with this system and it eventually became necessary to replace it prior to its usable age being reached.
In 1995, the Roughriders’ hosted the Grey Cup for the first time.
In conjunction with this, a number of renovations were needed for the stadium to meet the Canadian Football League standards. The existing press box area on the west side of the stadium was renovated resulting in a new area called Club Seating West.
The area was built as a VIP area for the Grey Cup and later became corporate seating for the Riders. Because the new Club Seating area was built, displacing the media from their old seats, another area was needed as a media centre for the championship game. A new Club Seating East area was built on top of the existing east side stands. It was used to house all the visiting media for the big game. Following that, it was split, creating a new Roughrider media centre as well as more corporate seating for the organization.
In 2000, the Roughriders undertook a new turf project. In anticipation of hosting the 2003 Grey Cup, the team began to search out funding to replace the old OmniTurf. Due to great support from the community, the project was accomplished a year ahead of schedule and the new AstroTurf was in place prior to the beginning of the 2000 CFL season.
In preparation for the 2003 Grey Cup, temporary stands were built in the north and south endzones, enabling the grand ol’ stadium to hold 51,000 spectators for the 91st Grey Cup championship on November 16th.
With a windfall of just over $2 million in revenue from that Grey Cup, as well as an on-going share offering to its fans, the Roughriders have begun to use this new capital to leverage funds to enhance the stadium even more.
Plans were unveiled in December, 2004 to upgrade the facility and take the stadium into the future.
A state-of-the-art video board, sponsored by SaskTel, was unveiled in time for the 2005 season. The SaskTel MaxTron enabled the Roughriders and their fans to watch replays, be entertained and bring the CFL franchise in line with the other member clubs.
A new sound system was also installed in 2005 as well as many other improvements to the east side, including washrooms, concessions and refurbished seats. In the south endzone, a VIP deck and stands were put in place for the start of the 2006 season, allowing the football club to host its corporate game day sponsors.
Prior to the 2007 CFL season, the Roughriders and the City of Regina partnered together to have FieldTurf installed at Mosaic Stadium. The upgrade to the playing surface has already brought forth numerous benefits to not only the Roughriders but all local amateur football teams who utilize the facility.
As more upgrades to the stadium are planned, the football club, in conjunction with The City of Regina, embarked on a 10-year journey with a global, yet grassroots partner in Mosaic Stadium back in 2006. Now, the place where so many legends have played, will be known as Mosaic Stadium.
The football club will also pay tribute to the stadium’s first namesake, Piffles Taylor, by way of reconstructing the monument at the stadium entrance in order to bring more attention to this important figure in Roughrider history. Most recently the name of the street in front of the stadium has been changed to read "Piffles Taylor Way".
Without question, the home of the Green and White will continue to remake itself to meet the needs of the League, the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club and its fans. But no matter what changes lie ahead, the history and appeal of Mosaic Stadium remains unmatched in the CFL.
How did Taylor Field get its name?
It was named after Neil J. "Piffles'' Taylor. Taylor was prominent in rugby and football in Regina, as a player, coach, and administrator. After playing for the Regina Rugby Club in 1915, he joined the Royal Flying Corps as a pilot and fought in World War I. Despite a year spent as a prisoner of war and the loss of an eye, he returned to rubgy, playing from 1919 to 1922. He subsequently became a lawyer and city alderman. He also served as president of the Regina Roughriders, of the Canadian Rugby Union, and of the Western Interprovincial Football Union. Shortly before his death in 1947, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire.
There were two CFL teams named "Roughriders''. However, the Saskatchewan team has the nickname ``Roughriders'' and the former Ottawa team had the nickname "Rough Riders''. The two teams began their existences in different leagues (playing rugby). Having two teams with similar names came about as a result of mergers of these leagues.
It's important to note that the Regina team adopted the "Roughriders'' name only after the Ottawa Rough Riders became the "Senators'' in 1924. In 1926, the Ottawa franchise decided to go back to the "Rough Riders'' name.
It is hypothesized that the "Roughriders'' name came from a North West Mounted Police rugby team which was made up of members of the force who broke the horses used by the police.
As written by Terry Labach
From 1910 to 1916, the Riders played at Dominion Park. After the war, they played from 1919-c.1922 at the Exhibition Grounds, before moving to Park Hughes c. 1923. This was supposedly located right next to Taylor Field. In 1928, they moved to Park de Young, which was renamed Taylor Field in 1947.
REGINA TO STUDY STADIUM POTENTIAL
November 6, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures
Regina, Sk. - Regina's mayor says Mosaic Stadium may be in line for a multi-million-dollar
face-lift or a complete replacement.
"The status quo is not an option. So it is going to be one or the other, it is going to be a retro(fit) or new (stadium) and it will be done based on what we can afford to do with our partners," Pat Fiacco said.
The City of Regina had previously identified C$5.8 million in needed repairs to the aging
stadium, which Fiacco said were basic infrastructure upgrades. But as the city had discussions with the provincial government and the Saskatchewan Roughriders regarding the facility, it was
determined that a feasibility study was needed.
The study - which Fiacco said the province has taken the lead on but is being done in
conjunction with the city - is looking at the implications and estimated cost of doing a complete
retrofit of the stadium. While Fiacco couldn't give a rough estimate on cost, he said such a
renovation would be "easily over $100 million." But the study will also look at the feasibility of building a new stadium and the opportunities it could bring.
"It is important to understand the Riders are only one user of our facility. However, they are a
professional football team and we have to make sure that in order to stay competitive in the CFL,
we have to have the proper facilities and the Riders are given an opportunity to make sure they can attract good talent. That can be done in a renovation, no question," explained Fiacco.
"But again it goes beyond that. If indeed there is an opportunity here for something new, we
would look at being able to attract some major, major arts and cultural events, concerts. We would also look at a stadium that would accommodate more than just football, there would be other
activities that we would want, possibly baseball." The study is expected to be completed in a few months. Despite the ongoing discussions, Fiacco warned it is still very early in the process.
The timeline for either a retrofit or new construction would be roughly three to four years, Fiacco estimated, stating that even with renovations, work could only be done on the facility in the winter when it is not in use.
Such work would carry a hefty price tag. Fiacco said the city could not handle the cost on its
own and partnered with the Riders and the province for that reason.
The private sector would also be looked to for funding. But federal funding is not really an
option, said Fiacco.
"Look at the history of what's happened - Halifax, Ottawa and Winnipeg, all three requested
funding for a stadium and it's been refused. The federal government has made it very clear it will not be funding stadiums," he said, adding that any funding possibilities would still be pursued with Ottawa. (Regina Leader-Post)
REGINA EXPLORES DOMED STADIUM
December 11, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures
Regina, Saskatchewan - The City of Regina is examining the possibility of building a domed
facility to replace Mosaic Stadium.
Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco said the city is looking into what it would cost to build a domed
stadium, if the move would be financially practical and how it would be funded.
"We're doing our due diligence and we'll go from there,'" Fiacco said. "It has to be affordable
but we all know that it takes a bit of an investment. Someone had the vision to build Mosaic
Stadium or Taylor Field at the time. For obvious reasons, we have to make sure that we take care of the next 50 years."
Fiacco said it was too early to speculate on the costs, size or site of the new facility. He said the city would like to build the facility close to where Mosaic Stadium is currently located.
Fiacco said that the domed stadium would be more than a home to the CFL's Saskatchewan
Roughriders, who are the primary tenants of Mosaic Stadium.
Fiacco envisions a facility that would accommodate the Riders, other sports teams along with
cultural and entertainment events.
Earlier this year, the city identified that Mosaic Stadium needs at least C$5.8 million in repairs to its basic infrastructure. A feasibility study was also commissioned to further study renovations.
Through discussions with the Riders, the city and the provincial government, it was determined
that Mosaic Stadium also required renovations that could exceed C$100 million.
Jim Hopson, the Riders president and CEO, said if C$100 million was the cost of renovating
Mosaic Stadium that it makes sense to discuss the possibility of building a new facility.
No time frame has been set but Hopson said he hoped for a decision later in the month or early
in 2009. (Regina Leader-Post)
REGINA MOVING AHEAD ON C$350 MILLION STADIUM
July 23, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Regina, Saskatchewan - Research is underway to determine the potential and best way to
finance a proposed new C$350 million enclosed stadium that would host the Roughriders. The
team is financing the study along with the city and province.
The initial C$70,000 study by the Saskatchewan government into options for renovating or
replacing the aging Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field firmly recommended building a new,
all-weather facility. The other three options included a minor essential renovation that would cost C$1 million to C$6 million. Many believe that would have little economic impact on the city.
The second option was a major redevelopment of the current stadium and would cost C$109
million over five years and would defer the need to make a replacement decision for 10-15 years.
Building a new open-air stadium was the final option and it would cost C$190 million, plus
Observers say a new 38,000-seat covered stadium (expandable to 50,000-plus) would be a
facility that could meet a wide range of community needs, not just those of the Saskatchewan
Roughriders and, because it is covered, its biggest impact would be the ability to use the stadium year-round for other athletic and entertainment events.
REGINA SEEKS INTEREST IN STADIUM PROJECT
November 12, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Regina, Saskatchewan - With a feasibility study into a domed stadium in Regina at the halfway
point, the Saskatchewan government says it will start putting out feelers to developers.
The province has run ads in major Western Canada newspapers requesting expressions of
interest from developers who want to be involved in the stadium project.
The government has also been talking to CP Rail about the possibility of moving from their
current site on Dewdney Avenue. Some media reports note that if CP Rail relocates its downtown
railyards out of the city, the dome could go in the empty space.
One of the consultants working on the study, Stadium Consultants International, has been told
to look at a 33,000-seat facility that can be expanded to 45,000 to 50,000 seats.
The draft plans created by the consultant also include multiple roof options, including a fully
The domed stadium, envisioned as a multi-use facility where concerts, sport events and other
activities could be held year-round, would provide a new home for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The government says it won't make a final decision on the stadium until it gets its feasibility
study back in late January. The stadium is estimated to cost C$350 million.
HOTELIERS OFFER $10 MILLION TOWARD FOOTBALL STADIUM
November 19, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Regina, Saskatchewan - The 17 members of the Regina Hotels Association say they are ready
to chip in C$10 million towards the construction of a domed football stadium in Regina.
The association announced that its members support a new enclosed stadium and
multi-purpose facility in the city.
The hoteliers' contribution would come from a fee collected from hotel visitors since 2006. A 2
percent destination marketing fee is collected on the room portion of hotel bills.
About 2,500 hotel rooms in Regina are covered by the fee which generates between C$1 million
to C1.5 million each year. The C$10 million contribution would be spread out over 15 years.
A consultant, working for the province, City of Regina and Saskatchewan Roughriders football
club is examining the concept of a new stadium in Regina's downtown area.
It has been estimated that a new stadium would cost about C$350 million.