The Riders will kick off the 2016 season Friday at 8 p.m. at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field for the final time.
Fans and number of former Riders were on hand at Regina’s City Square Plaza Thursday afternoon and got an early start on the celebrations.
For former Riders like Paul Woldu, Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field is where it all started.
“It’s bitter sweet, you know especially for a guy like me, Mosaic is where it all began.”
“It’s kind of sad to see it go, but I think it’s about time that the guys move in to a first class facility,” Woldu added.
The old stadium is also home to a lot of memories for former Rider linebacker Mike McCullough.
“I am definitely sad to see it go, my last big memory was 2013 Grey Cup there and it was probably my most favourite.”
Former Rider receiver Matt Dominguez is also excited about the opening of the new Mosaic Stadium.
“You know it’s good, I think that its bitter sweet in the sense of there’s a lot of history … but it’s just the next evolution of … the franchise.”
Dominguez said he has been to many games since retiring and he can feel the tradition when he walks in. However he said that the current stadium does take away from the fan experience in some ways.
“Lines in the washroom and things falling apart … it kind of hurts the fan experience and you can only do so much when you’re ok with those types of things in your stadium.”
Many fans also took the opportunity to come out and enjoy the festivities. One of those fans was Wayne Smith, who has been going to games at the old stadium for 60 years.
“I am happy and I am sad at the same time, I’ve been attending games for a long … time and the old girl did need updating and I am looking forward to moving into the new stadium.”