This is an archived version of a Field of Schemes article. Comments on this page are closed. To find the current version of the article with updated comments, click here.
July 02, 2012
Saskatchewan offers $80m toward $278m Roughriders stadium
The province of Saskatchewan has promised to spend $80 million on a new Roughriders stadium, which sounds more momentous until you realize that a new stadium is expected to cost $278 million. (It was going to be $431 million with a roof, but apparently now the plan is to make it "roof-ready" and let somebody else worry about that bit.) The city of Regina has offered to put in $60 million, which leaves the plan about 50% funded, and 50% wishful thinking.
The province did offer to extend loans to the city for the some of the remainder, but that would just make it the city's problem how to pay back the loans. Given that the Roughriders are owners by a Green Bay Packers-style community partnership, there's no deep-pocketed owner to make up the difference, but it's always possible the team could decide it's worth paying increased rent to cover the public costs, in order to get a new stadium. Given past history, probably not, though.
It's completely absurd that they would spend that type of money to keep a CFL team. The fourth highest level of football in the world. NFL, UFL, BCS COLLEGE FOOTBALL, and finally the CFL. Would be fifth if the NFL Europe was still around. Now you Canadians can disagree if you want, but it would only mean that you don't know anything about football.
It's absurd to spend any amount of money to subsidize a professional sports team. Ask Indianapolis and Cincinatti how their NFL subsidies have worked out for them. Ask Glendale how that sports park thing is working out (Coyotes are a disaster, and while the Cardinal games do bring in money, the city still saw a negative return from the superbowl... as have other host cities)
That said, this isn't about "keeping" the Riders in Regina. They aren't going anywhere, nor is there really anywhere for them to go to. It's about building a facility for them to play in and for fans to enjoy the game in (comfortably and safely). I take it you've never been to Taylor field? I have.
Mark, before you beak off about the quality of the league, you should talk to some of the NFL players who've played up here. You might find their opinion of the league is much different than yours. And unlike you, they actually know what the difference is.
I don't care what some reject from a Division 2 school says about the level of competition. Otherwise, I agree with most of your post. I have eyes and ears, and unlike you I'm not blinded by some ridiculous national pride. Anyone with half of a brain can simply look at their rosters, or better yet their 2012 draft, not to mention simple "eye-testing," and it becomes very clear that the CFL is bush-league beyond compare. As long as half of your players are coming from the CIS, it will remain that way.
You don't care about facts, either, apparently. And you are blinded by national pride, just of another kind.
Cameron Wake and Doug Flutie seemed to do ok down there. Jeff Garcia went to a pro bowl.
Is the Cfl as good as the NFL? No, of course not. The Pittsburgh Pirates aren't as good as the Yankees either. What is your point? That tax money can only be given to the NFL and no other league? If so, you are quite wrong.
Half the players do not come from the CIS. The college draft is of non-Import players only, so yes it doesn't compare with the NFL's draft. Very few of those players will stick with any CFL team (just as happens in the NFL, the first rounders are keepers, after that it's a crap shoot).
Hating something is not the same as having knowledge of it. Ask Flutie.
Guys, there may well be a time and place for a knock-down drag-out insult-filled fight on the Internet, but 1) it violates the "no personal attacks" rule here, and 2) really, it's the relative merits of the CFL that set this off?
Please return to your respective corners, get a cool drink, and let's try this again, without the bile.
Your site, your rules, Neil. John, I don't hate the CFL. I actually like it, and I am grateful for some early football. It is what it is.
Well guys as a Canadian citizen in a region that desires a club I have to agree with the idea that even the provincial and city monies promised are way too much. The entire concept that building a domed stadium in Regina would yield more events is crazy. The outdoor mega concert tour biz is declining and Regina with ,a little over 100000 population, is not a great attraction for an AC DC or U2 really. These megashows don't tour in the winter so there is no real need for a roof. I just love that the president of the CFL feels the Moncton Stadium would need 70 million dollars more to become a CFL stadium . Come on now Winnipeg with a new 200 million dollar stadium has a loan of multiple decades from the province of Manitoba for a club that lost money in the 2000s . People in Canada , especially new citizens, are not engaged in the CFL to justify these outlays. Good thing we have a Harper government with a realization of footballs place in Canada.