Mosaic Stadium – Saskatchewan Roughriders
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New Home for the Roughriders
The Regina Rugby Club began playing football in 1910 on a field that would eventually be known as Taylor Field, in honour of Neil “Piffles” Taylor, a key figure in the early days of the team. The team would change its name to the current Saskatchewan Roughriders moniker in 1946.
The Riders officially joined the fledgling Canadian Football League in 1958, and have won the Grey Cup four times since then, most recently in 2013.
After 106 years at Taylor Field, the Roughriders relocated for the first time in franchise history, in time for the 2017 season. For fans of the Taylor Field location, the good news is that they’ve only moved a couple blocks down – Mosaic Stadium is located to the west of Taylor Field, which will soon be repurposed as a mixed residential-commercial area.
Mosaic Stadium is a 21st century facility, so far ahead of its predecessor in terms of design and user-friendliness that making comparisons between the two is an almost completely useless exercise. The new building is the most modern football field in Canada, and can reasonably be thought of as one of the best places to see a CFL game.
Food & Beverage 4
There is quite a variety of food kiosks around the concourse, providing something for just about anyone. Have a wander around the concourse and you’ll find the Wok Box, Western Pizza, Rock Creek Tap and Grill, Beer Bros Gastropub, Coney Island Poutine, Lancaster Tap House, and more. The Rock Creek menu also features most of your standard concessions fare, including Cheddar Burgers ($8), Stadium Dogs ($7), and pop ($4.50).
Beer is available all around the facility as well – for $9 you can get 16 oz. of Coors Light or Pilsner, and the QC Bar locations, as well as the Wisers stands, also have spirits and other interesting alcoholic options.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, take a visit to WOW Burger (aka. Willow on Wascana) in the northeast corner and try the Wild Boar Burger ($14). Yes, that’s right, made from wild boar!
There are also two sit-down restaurants inside Mosaic Stadium – on the suite and club level, west side, is the AGT Lounge, a two-level, upscale dining location with views of the football field, as well as Confederation Park to the west of the stadium. In addition, on the main floor is Harvard’s Studio 620 Lounge, a sports lounge for those who want to enjoy that kind of atmosphere before, during, and/or after the game.
Having a lively crowd watching a brand of football that is unequivocally better than the American version means football fans will have fun at the game. Such is the case at Mosaic Stadium – the place is loud and raucous all game long.
Looking around, you’ll find tributes to Roughrider greats like Hall of Famers Ron Lancaster and Roger Aldag. There’s also a wall commemorating the team’s four Grey Cup wins, as well as other green-and-white nods to the team’s history.
If you’re planning a visit to Mosaic Stadium after August, bundle up – Regina evenings can be downright frigid once fall sets in. The stadium was specifically designed to reduce the effects of cold and snow, including a sunken lower bowl, but if you’re watching in wintery conditions, you will likely be dealing with bitter cold. Plan your visit expecting this kind of weather (or worse) and you should be fine.
Mosaic Stadium is located just northwest of Regina’s downtown, and surrounding the facility on three sides is a residential neighbourhood. To the south are train tracks, which separate north Regina from south Regina, and then there is more residential housing, with not much else. As the neighbourhood gentrifies and the Taylor Field area gets redeveloped into mixed-use buildings, however, this is likely to change, with more restaurants and after-game destinations becoming available.
For now, however, the pickings for pre- and post-game entertainment are relatively slim. But if you head a couple blocks east of Mosaic Stadium you’ll find yourself on Albert St., the main artery in Regina. If you head north or south on Albert, you’ll find all the usual franchises: Burger King, McDonalds, Robin’s Donuts, and Mr. Sub. However, for anything out of the ordinary, more upscale, or for a lounge, bar, or pub, you’ll likely have to make a longer trip. The good news is that, in a city of about a quarter million people, nothing in the city is more than a 20-minute drive from the heart of town.
Saskatchewan Roughriders fans are among the most rabidly dedicated in all of Canada. The Riders are one of only two professional sports teams in the province, and Saskatchewan natives are crazy for their team as a result. Riders fans are so dedicated to their team that they will show up to virtually any sporting event anywhere in their green-and-white gear, regardless of whether the Riders are playing or not – they also have a reputation for wearing watermelons on their heads while watching games. Keep your eyes peeled as you wander through the crowds, and you’ll almost certainly find someone with a watermelon helmet.
That said, it should come as no surprise that at least two-thirds of the crowd in the Mosaic Stadium stands are decked out in full-on Roughriders regalia. Moreover, they are loud, fired up, and fully engaged in the game. Noise levels in Mosaic Stadium can routinely get over 100 decibels as the crowd cheers – they truly act as the 13th man for the Roughriders, and not the kind that might cost you a Grey Cup on the last play of the game.
The fans are, far-and-away, the best part of taking in a game at Mosaic Stadium.
Unless you are a season ticket holder, you won’t find any parking at Mosaic Stadium, and the residential neighbourhood the stadium is surrounded by is all permit parking as well, so no luck there either. That said, if you want to drive to the game, you’ll be in for a minimum 15-minute walk.
There are a handful of parking lots across the railroad tracks in the downtown core, but this is a bit of a walk as well. You can also find parking in the residential areas to the south and southeast of the stadium, but again, they are a good 15-minute walk away.
Your other option is to take a chartered bus or city transit to get to the field. The bus runs up and down Albert St., and there are express buses from four key mall locations that deliver people to Riders games as well. This is by far your best option for getting to and from the stadium.
The old Roughriders Stadium had one of the worst concourse areas of any football field in the CFL, making getting around the facility a near impossibility between quarters and after the game. The new structure has addressed this issue, providing wide concourses with much more space to accommodate the 33,000+ fans at each game – this should make claustrophobic fans much happier.
However, do be aware that there is one severe bottleneck on the west side of the stadium – just to the north of Harvard’s Studio 620 on the main floor, crowds grind to a halt in a tightly packed mass that is as bad, or worse, than the old facility. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for this crowd flow issue, but it happens consistently. DO NOT go here before the game, at halftime, or after the game if you can avoid it.
Return on Investment 3
Canadian football is always entertaining, so chances are pretty good that you’ll get your money’s worth. With ticket prices starting in the $40 per seat range, the cost is also fairly reasonable. Mix in a great atmosphere, and you have yourself all the pieces for a fun night out.
Gainer the Gopher is the team mascot, and he spends his time around the field and in the stands keeping the kids amused.
The Riders Cheer Team also helps keep the energy up in Mosaic Stadium between plays with cheers, acrobatics, and routines on the field during timeouts.
Prior to games, the Coors Light Party in the Park is held in Confederation Park, to the immediate east of the stadium. This area features lots of family friendly activities, DJ performances, food, and lots more.
In several locations around the concourse you’ll find Riders team stores with a selection of Riders apparel and knick-knacks, including the main Team Store on the north end of Mosaic Stadium. Virtually anything you can think of that you can put the Riders logo on can be found here.
There is also a humongous video screen located at the south end of the stadium providing images and stats. At 6,844 square feet, it is the largest video board in Canada, and the 45th largest on Earth, as of this writing. There is also another video screen located above the northeast stands for folks on the south end, who can’t get a good look at the main screen.
Prior to the game, the 13th Man banner is unfurled in the northwest corner, as a tribute to the positive impact the fans have on Roughriders home games. Also, it’s always nice to see recycling bins at a venue like this, and you can find them throughout Mosaic Stadium.
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