Tag Archives: Commonwealth Stadium

The New Arrowhead Stadium

Despite being a Denver Broncos fan since I was a kid, I have always loved the look of Arrowhead Stadium (as well as a huge fan of Hank Stram).  While I like to cheer against the Chiefs, I have always wanted to go and see a game there.  Now that I have seen what they have done in refurbishing Arrowhead, I want to go even more. 

While I am not a big fan of Mosaic Stadium, it would be great to see some of these ideas incorporated into a refurbishment of Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, which I have long considered one of the great stadiums in North America.

The Regina Dome

The Carrier Dome

CBC is quoting the NDP in saying that a new domed stadium would cost $600 million and I can’t see it as Ford Field only cost $430 million and is twice the projected size but whether or not they are right or wrong, I am not sure a dome stadium is a good idea for Regina or Saskatchewan. 

  • In a good season, the Saskatchewan Roughriders play 11 home games.  I can see the Riders fill a small Carrier Dome type stadium with 40,000 people for 10 of those games (one is a home exhibition game).  The University of Regina Rams would play four games a year there but in front of crowds that may not pay for the cost of opening the building so I won’t mention that.
  • Mosaic Stadium is not a nice stadium and I can’t envision a scenario where you could renovate it and bring it up to standards that Rider Nation deserves and wants.  We don’t want a lot but Mosaic Stadium offers even less.
  • There would be some more top flight concerts but how many bands can fill a stadium that big?  Three or four a year?  I bet it is closer to one or two after the original rush.
  • There would be some conferences but Regina is no Las Vegas.  How many conferences or trade shows will need that much capacity and Regina doesn’t have a lot of excess rooms already.

As a football fan, I prefer open air stadiums.  Yes playoff games in Regina are horrible to play in and attend but so are games at Lambeau Field, Commonwealth Stadium, McMahon Stadium, Gillette Stadium and a lot of other cold weather venues.  While Mosaic Stadium is a horrible place to be when it is cold, it is amazing to be outside in the summer.  Like BC Place, while you gain something in the fall, you lose something in the summer.  Plus, football is supposed to be played outside.

As a taxpayer, I am not so worried about the capital costs as I am about the ongoing operating costs.  Cities infatuations with domed stadiums seems a lot shorter than with traditional stadiums (anyone screaming to replace Notre Dame Stadium (built in 1930) or Wrigley Field (built in 1914, last cleaned in 1919), while how’s that abandoned Silverdome (built in 1973, kicked to the curb in 2008) doing?  Domed stadiums have not aged well compared with open air ones and tend to be big financial sinkholes, if you doubt me, I have two words and one link for you, Olympic Stadium (which seemed like a brilliant idea at the time).

If I was calling the shots on this, I would proceed slowly with the hope of building a stadium that stands the test of time rather than something that barely makes 30 years before the call for replacing it begins.

Meccas of Football

I was watching the Red River Shootout game today (congrats to Texas for winning a great game) and I am always blown away by the sight of the Cotton Bowl.

The Cotton Bowl

For me the Cotton Bowl just looks like how a football stadium should look.  I know L.A.’s Memorial Stadium is much maligned but I love the look of it as well.  Here are some other great looking football meccas that I would love to see one day.

Notre Dame Stadium (South Bend, Indiana | Notre Dame Fighting Irish)

Notre Dame Stadium

Commonwealth Stadium (Edmonton, Alberta | Edmonton Eskimos)

Commonwealth Stadium

I don’t know if they still do it now but after games you used to be able to go onto the field and get autographs from the Eskimos, win or lose.  When I was younger, this was a pretty cool feature.  As an aside, I once watched a game of tackle football played with 20 mascots as a half-time show.  There were feet, heads, and arms flying everywhere. 

Percival Molson Memorial Stadium (Montreal, Quebec | Montreal Alouettes)

Percival Molson Memorial Stadium

Percival Molson Memorial Stadium

The Alouettes were on no one’s radar when they moved back to Montreal in the 1990s.  They played in the cavernous Olympic Stadium to only a couple thousand people.  Because of a scheduling conflict with U2, they moved for one game to Molson Stadium on McGill Universities campus and sold out.  The next season they moved to the stadium and became the hardest ticket in Montreal to come by.  Prior to every Sunday home game, the club plays "Sunday Bloody Sunday" over the PA system in tribute to the unintended role U2 played in saving the franchise.  Even with renovations the stadium only seats 25,000 people but it is responsible for saving professional football in Montreal so it needs some credit.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum

I know it’s old and too big for the NFL (well too big for a NFL team run by Al Davis) but 92,000+ fans pack into it to see the USC Trojans play football every game.

Ohio Stadium

Ohio Stadium

Ohio Stadium

For years, Saskatoon’s cable television came from Detroit so the Detroit Lions, Michigan Wolverines, and Michigan State Spartans kind of became the home team.  This also meant that I can’t watch Ohio State play without my skin crawling but you have to admit that this is a great looking football stadium.  Yes, Coach Sweater Vest does take the fun out of being an Ohio State fan but this stadium could make you forget the fact that you attend a inferior university

The Swamp

The Swamp The angle of the seats at the Swamp is crazy and it contributes to the massive crowd noise that is generated there.  What a place to watch and listen to a game.  It gives a real advantage to the team with a  legitimate 12th man.

I know I am ignoring some other great stadiums (let me know what I am missing the in the comments).

I didn’t include Lambeau Field or Soldier Field because of the intensive renovations and the new focus on luxury boxes and club seats and I don’t know if a NFL team that really is designed for the average fan anymore versus the emphasis on luxury boxes and high end club seating qualifies for the list but I am open to dissenting opinions.