Tag Archives: Mosaic 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.

One year later

A friend of mine asked me the other day if we had any regrets about purchasing our cabin last summer.  The discussion revolved around the size, the restrictions on use, and the idea of the being permanently anchored to one place for vacation.

The Size

There are four of us using under 300 square feet.  As you can imagine, it is a bit crowded with three beds, four people, and two dogs.

Instead of planning any addition, we are working at adding some outside space.  The gazebo will feature two resin Adirondack and two Cape Cod chairs along with a small coffee table.  The cabin isn’t insulated which means that it gets pretty warm in the summer.  We added a dual action window fan which makes a big difference in cooling down the cabin at night but the gazebo is where we plan to spend our evenings.

For the mornings, we are adding a small patio in the front.  We had talked about building a full deck but we settled on paving blocks.  The patio won’t be any larger than enough space to put a bistro table and two chairs out front.  I know that doesn’t leave Oliver and Mark with a chair but we won’t worry about that until they star drinking tea and coffee to start out their morning.  Plus, it may not be the worse thing to have a portion of the property that is for adults, at least for part of the day.

During the dry summer months, Mark crashes outside in his three person tent where he seems happy.  Of course once he gets too much older and his feet hang out of the end.  When that happens we will either explore the idea of adding an out building, putting up a Boler or a tent trailer, or just getting a bigger tent.

Some have asked if the four of us could live up there and with some interior renovations we could in that amount of space.  We have talked about adding a loft and with one it would work okay.  It would necessitate a much simpler lifestyle but as many have shown, it is possible to live in something smaller than a McMansion.

Restrictions on Use

One of the conditions on the lease is that it is alcohol free.  I don’t really have a problem with that.  Arlington Beach was originally a Free Methodist camp and it is a part of the holiness movement heritage.  Wendy and I very rarely consume anything alcoholic and so to be alcohol free is no big deal.  The upside of this is that I don’t have to worry about Mark getting into any alcohol or getting harassed by some drunk while he is walking to the washroom.  While people are up late sitting around a bonfire or drinking coffee, it is a different kind of noise that you get when the booze is flowing freely.  The only impact it has is on my plans for beer can chicken at the lake.  Of course I have been told by several beer drinkers that one should never waste a beer on a chicken and one can get the same impact from alcohol free beer or even water in a can.

Attached to one place

I love to travel with the family so I thought this would really bother me but it hasn’t.  The ability to get away to another place is a big plus for us.  We had talked about buying a Boler, small RV, or just tenting equipment before we got this but in the end, this was the right investment for us (I am not a big fan of tenting and I am not sure the idea of a Boler and a campground was going to work either).  We are still planning to get away to Victoria in the fall but it does give us a place to spend our vacation time this summer without worrying about expenses.  It also serves a base to attend Saskatchewan Roughriders games with it only being an hour away from Taylor Field Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field.  As I mentioned Regina is an hour away and the drive to Moose Jaw through the Qu’Appelle Valley is stunning.  If you haven’t seen the book Scenic Saskatchewan Drives, it offers several amazing day trips around Saskatchewan and many of them are easily accessible from the cabin.

So a year later and I don’t have a lot of regrets in making the investment.  The cabin is pretty modest and it fit our budget. It was recently appraised at being worth $2,000 by the local R.M. and even with having a large lot, it is worth well under $5,000 which is many times more money than we paid for it.

While last year it felt like we were still heading to a vacation property, this year it has become more like home.  The paint is ours, Mark has his own bed, the other beds and kitchen have been upgraded and improved.  While not quite the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, Massachusetts or the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, it is ours and for right now, it’s a pretty good fit for the family.

Interior of the cabin in 2009 Interior of the cabin in 2009  The Gazebo going up in 2009 The kitchen in 2009 Saskatchewan Roughriders BBQ cover in 2009 Mark at the marina in 2008 Mark at the marina in 2008 Maggi at Arlington Beach in 2008 The backyard of the cabin in 2008 Oliver and me at the cabin in 2008 The painted after it was painted in 2008 The painted after it was painted in 2008

Getting CFL Tickets Online Should Not Be This Tough

Taylor Field at Mosaic Stadium 

I am trying to purchase some Saskatchewan Roughrider tickets for this summer.  I go online, get sent over to Tickets.com which is like a giant ticket buying black hole.  You have to enter in a Captcha every time you want to look for a ticket or change your amount of tickets everywhere on the site.

While I can accept it is hard to find tickets for the Riders this season.  The Riders, like the Alouettes sell out almost every home game, it is not made any easier by a site that is slow and not all that helpful.  How hard could it be to query a database that allows me to choose how much I want to pay, the amount of tickets I want, and then give me a list of how many are available.  It isn’t that hard because when I called the toll free number, the quite helpful customer service agent was able to give me that information in about a second.

In the end I shouldn’t complain as we were able to get the tickets I wanted (if not for the game I wanted but that isn’t Tickets.com or the CFL’s fault) but I did waste a lot of time getting no where online.