The nearly century-old Exhibition Stadium is scheduled for demolition Tuesday, and with it will go so many memories.
I watched the Regina Pats play there en route to the 1974 Memorial Cup, 24 years after my dad played his last game for the Pats. I didn’t see that game!
I was a 10-year-old stick boy when dad played senior hockey for the Regina Caps. I remember his teammates and the dressing room where I distributed Juicy Fruit and Adams Sour Orange gum, my pockets filled with ammonia capsules that the trainer would wave under the players’ noses when they got knocked out.
The wooden benches. The metal beams beside the ice that impeded everyone’s view. Rats scurrying around the bleachers up high in the north end.
My grandfather took me to my first rodeo there. I remember the smell of the fried hamburgers and onions. And the Shrine Circus, with elephants and tigers and the tiny car that somehow carried 10 clowns. I refereed and played pickup hockey games in the “Old Barn” even after it was formally replaced by the Agridome in 1977.
The old Pats used to call the place a palace, an indoor rink where they could chase their hockey dreams. But that was a long time ago.