$230 million requested of Sask. government for Regina stadium project
The City of Regina needs $230 million from the Saskatchewan government for the revitalization project that includes a new multi-purpose stadium and they are imposing a May 31 deadline for the decision.
The project also includes a makeover of the CP rail property north of downtown Regina as well as the land now occupied by Mosaic Stadium.
At the council meeting Monday, Mayor Pat Fiacco insisted the private sector will cover three-quarters of the total $1 billion revitalization. But he conceded that the City can't complete the project without public money.
Fiacco says there is no clear plan B for building the stadium at this point.
The rest of the project would not be dead without it. Fiacco said the City would still buy the Canadian Pacific Railway container yards and redevelop that land.
"The report tonight made it very clear that if the province does not provide funding, then the project is dead," he said.
Fiacco remains optimistic that the stadium will become a reality.
"The premier has made it very clear that they need to be part of this project and I think we'll allow that process to take place," Fiacco said, calling for patience.
"I think everyone wants answers immediately but I think we need to respect the process."
New Democrat MLA Warren McCall says taxpayers deserve to know what the price tag for the province would be.
"This government needs to be straightforward about what's on the table and let the people of Saskatchewan make an informed decision about what's being proposed," said McCall.
The minister responsible, Ken Cheveldayoff, told the legislature on Tuesday the government is requesting further information from the City on the exact extent of their proposal for funding.
"We're looking at all aspects and our first step is to ask for more information and that's what I've done today," he said.
Cheveldayoff said more data is needed on costs, funding model and the involvement of other players.
Fiacco says it's the same as other projects like the Co-operators Centre or the EventPlex - which also needed provincial money to go ahead.
The report at city council meeting Monday allows for a cheaper option than the domed facility previously discussed. The report revealed that an open-air facility can be fan-friendly and do the job.
The report also suggests Evraz Place could be used as a location since that is land the city already owns, but Fiacco insists nothing has been decided.
Fiacco doesn't think Mosaic Stadium can be patched up to fit the bill. The Roughriders have said Mosaic Stadium simply isn't good enough to continue housing the team in the future.
"I don't think we should presuppose anything at this stage, I think we should wait like we have been and let the process make its way through," said Fiacco.
The City expects the purchase of the CP land at the center of the project could be secured by the end of May. A decision on where a stadium will be built and what it will look like could be completed by June.
Edited by News Talk Radio's Adriana Christianson and Karen Brownlee