Regina city council to vote on stadium plan
The official decision on whether or not to pass Regina's stadium plan is in the hands of city councillors.
A lot of people have been talking about Regina's proposed $279 million dollar football stadium which has been generating buzz on social media sites for months. At least 10 people are scheduled to speak their minds about the plan in front of city council Monday.
Only one of the presenters would like to see the $278 million open-air stadium built at Evraz Place.
John Hopkins, CEO of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, wants to see things progress. He says the business community doesn't see renovation as a viable option.
"The reality is we can spend $150 million on the current facility and we'll still have a lot of challenges related to that facility and we will get no money from the provincial government to go that route," said Hopkins.
Hopkins points out Monday's vote is still not legally binding. He feels there's still plenty of time to fine-tune the project to satisfy more people.
And there are more to be satisfied. The rest of those speaking at the meeting are against the 33,000-seat stadium. In their letters posted in the agenda document at Regina.ca, most of the presenters say they think the money would be better spent on dealing the city's affordable housing crisis, pointing to Regina's low vacancy rate. The opponents would also like to see private money on the table.
Another concern is the impact tax hikes to pay for the stadium will have on those with fixed incomes.
After the plan was passed by executive committee, council is scheduled to vote on the new deal struck with the province and the Roughriders.
Some people have said they would like a referendum on the stadium, but they missed the official deadline. The rules for having a referendum included in October's municipal election require petitions to be submitted by July 1. Adding a referendum is still a possibility, but it must be approved by council.
Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco has said before that the stadium plan will not be put to a public vote and he reaffirmed this position just after the announcement at the Roughrider's last home game.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. Monday at city hall.
Edited by CJME's Adriana Christianson and Karen Brownlee with files from Canadian Press and CJME's Patrick Book and Howard Alexander