There are lessons to be learned as the City of Regina and Evraz Place look back at the second test event at the new Mosaic Stadium.
No parking was available and not all food and beverage services were open during the five-hour concert that featured Bryan Adams, Our Lady Peace and Johnny Reid.
Complaints ranged from the delays in transit to long lines for drinks and the ladies washroom. Certain entrances of the stadium were also bottlenecked.
“We need to complete the opening of all of the concession spaces to alleviate the longer lines,” said Mark Allan, Regina Exhibition Association Limited president and CEO.
Allan confirms that all concessions, bathrooms and concourses will be open for the final test event, the Saskatchewan Roughrider’s pre-season game on June 10.
As well, the data shows that more people are using the north entrances than expected so adjustments are coming.
“People seem to come into the stadium for the first time and sort of hang out, that also created a challenge,” Allan said. “We are going to look at what we can do to make the whole stadium available because this is a big circumference here, there is a lot of space.”
As for those bathroom lines, a review is underway.
“Things like signage, things like other options, there are more washrooms than people found easily, so I think some of it is providing better information to our guests about where the washrooms are located on the various levels,” Allan argued.
There continues to be anger at the long delays for transit, particularly as no parking was made available at Evraz Place.
Some concert-goers missed the first act, Our Lady Peace, and were left waiting at the pick-up points, Southland Mall and Victoria Square Mall, for more than an hour.
“I won’t go on a bus again, not a chance, we’ll drive down and likely park somewhere over by Dewdney maybe,” said Erin Found, who waited 45 minutes for a bus Saturday.
Found argued the empty parking spots added to the frustration.
“There was unbelievable amounts of parking all around the old stadium and then of course into the Evraz location there was more parking because they had blocked it all off,” Found explained. “People were really upset. By the time you get there, your mood is ruined”.
Hearing about the delays, 18 more buses were made available at the end of the concert.
“It really helped, we had people cleared out of the stadium in 45 minutes after the event,” confirmed Kim Onrait, executive director of city services.
Of the 21,000 people in attendance at Mosaic Stadium Saturday night, just a third of them used transit.
Onrait admitted there is still a lot to learn about what fans are looking for ahead of this season.
“Do some people want to come to the event an hour and a half before the game, two hours before the game and how do we make those adjustments accordingly,” Onrait argued. “As the common areas around the stadium become a little more lively we’re anticipated people are going to want to come early, just to have that experience.”
If only 7,000 people took transit Saturday, it meant a lot of people drove down and parked on the streets near the stadium.
It caused a headache for those in Cathedral neighbourhood. The residential streets were already jam-packed with vehicles parked to attend the Cathedral Village Arts Festival.
Parking enforcement officers were out ticketing those who were violating the rules.
But those tickets ended up on the windshields of many who live in the area.
“It is frustrating but you just sort of learn to live with it,” Shirley Lee said, who can now see the new Mosaic Stadium from her front door.
Her neighbour Elizabeth Wilkie wants the city to look at other options.
“For maybe game days for the residential areas that are really close to the stadium it would be great to have permits for the people that live here,” Wilkie said.
Many of the residential streets in Cathedral do not have parking restrictions. Onrait confirmed the city will meet with some of the neighbourhood associations in the coming week to discuss these concerns.