Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm scratching my head and I don't have lice!

I confess that, outside of golf, I am not an ardent sports fan. Maybe that's why I am stymied with all levels of government who are currently preaching austerity yet are willing to consider spending roughly $400 million dollars for a sports stadium in downtown Regina (SP June 15/10.)

Perhaps its a gender issue. There are more men holding elected office than women. If the balance of power were shifted, would the expenditures lean more towards health, social services and the arts?

Just a morsel of food for thought.


  1. I'll preface this by saying I'm against putting our beloved Riders indoors and as such not in agreement with the current proposal. A couple of notes though:

    -there would be a large Federal contribution to this project
    -this is like Regina's River Landing (something you have advocated for here Mistress), which would be the anchor of a downtown revitalization
    -it is a multi purpose facility that would be able to house concerts, trade shows, etc..
    -I believe the plan was for the area where Taylor Field (or Mosaic Stadium) is would be developed with affordable housing

    In summary, you could argue that on a practical level this stadium is more important to Regina than a South Bridge is to Saskatoon. I hope you are not one of the nuts who argues that no money should be spent on anything until health, social services and the arts have been satisfied? We could dump every cent we have into our health care system and it would not fix the flaws, same with social services.

    I also would like to point out the hypocrisy of those who argue the arts over sports. What makes one any more important than the other? Why should the arts take priority over sports?

    While I don't particularly like this design, I do support funding for a new stadium for the Riders (one that can be multipurpose). We shouldn't have to feel guilty about world hunger when we buy ourselves a steak, especially when we have done plenty already.

  2. Ah Mistress your true colors are a showing.

    If women were at the top would we see more shopping malls and spas popping up?? This is a totally sexist view. This project is perfect for a Province our size. I would rather my tax money have a chance to get something tangible I the taxpayer can use with my after tax dollar then just handing it out to those unwilling to work and live off the public tit. I suspect more than 90% of the construction dollar would come directly to people living and WORKING in this Province through contracts and real jobs. Not to mention Cleaning up that ugly city of Regina.

  3. The mistress has it right for once. This is simply a poltical move. The studies show that it will not result in anymore concerts in this market and the facility will be an operational drain - is Mayor Fiacco ready to pay for that? Of course the old stadium needs to be refurbished or a new one built but a covered stadium is simply ridiculous.

  4. The point I was trying to make was the three levels of government sounding the alarm of fiscal belt-tightening. The Feds are winding down the stimulus funding, the province if recovering from the potash downturn, etc... Even the paltry sum for mosquito control and dutch elm disease was lost to the municipalities. Roads are in disrepair, both rural and urban. What are the priorities?

    As for comparing the stadium to RL I suggest I woould be more appropriate to compare RL to Wascana which over the years has seen massive public money for its restoration. At least with Wascana and RL the average citizen can stroll or picnic in portions of the development. There is free public space.

    Lastly, the operational cost of this facility will be enormous and I'm guessing the provincial government will have to cover some of that cost. Saskatoon facilities do not enjoy luxury of provincial support for operations.

    Please don't bore me with the notion that the place will pay for itself. If it could turn a profit or even pay for itslef, the private sector would be all over this. The $50 milion dollar Shaw Centre does not pay for itself, nor does any other public facility. Even the Soccer Centre that was supposed to be self-sustaining is now looking for tax support.

    It is my observation that if a new sports facility is dangled it gets a thumbs up. Say art gallery resotration and there is a hue and cry of monetary waste.

    Perhaps this should be a buy-in deal. You want it, buy shares in a company to build and maintain it. Then it truly is yours and you can all have "owners" box seats. The Riders can lease time from your company and then you have concerts every night and become millionaires. The everyone is happy!

  5. "...the operational cost of this facility will be enormous and I'm guessing the provincial government will have to cover some of that cost. Saskatoon facilities do not enjoy luxury of provincial support for operations."

    As a non-Saskatoon resident, this comment makes me chuckle a bit...because Saskatoon facilities certainly enjoy provincial investment for capital, yet it's the city of Saskatoon alone that stands to reaps the benefits from operations surpluses.

    From my perspective, I could ask why the provincial govt. should invest MY tax dollars in Saskatoon facilities when I have no "luxury" to reap the benefits of any operational surpluses from those facilities? As if provincial tax dollars can be segregated...

    Also, I don't believe the province covers operational costs for any Regina facilities (like Evraz Place or the Brandt Centre) that are outside of Wascana Centre Authority (WCA does include the Conexus Arts Centre and MacKenzie Art Gallery). As part of WCA, I believe those facilities are governed by the Wascana Centre Act of 1962 and perhaps are then considered provincial facilities. However I'll admit I'm not the "authority" - pardon the pun - on that...

  6. I have to agree with the mistress on this one, if this was financially viable, the private sector would be all over it like flies on.... well, you know.

    In a way this seems similar to Bruce Power's desire to build a nuclear power plant. If it was financially viable they would go to Bay street and Wall street and issue bonds or equity to finance the construction, and then sell the electricity to recoup their investment and turn a profit. But they haven't (and won't). Why? Because Wall & Bay street wouldn't touch that investment with a ten foot pole. Unless there are massive subsidies from the taxpayer.

  7. if it i s to be built i believe it should be in davidson tied in with a high speed rail service from saskatoon to regina.lots of parking, low land cost, rural renewal. the up side is huge, down side is a bunch of poed regina citizens

  8. Ha Anon 6:41,

    I have advocated this idea for years now. I think it would be a dynamite atmosphere for games and the ultimate intimidation for visiting teams. Could you imagine the bus ride into middle of the prairies where built amongst the wheat fields is a stadium housing the craziest loudest fans in Canada?

    But alas it makes no financial sense to stick it out there. If only we had a billionaire owner who had no regard for money :(

    I'm surprised at the "We vs. They" mentality here when it comes to dividing projects between Saskatoon and Regina. In order to properly grow our province we need both the major cities to be thriving.

  9. To anon at 1:51
    You are correct in the notion that those facilities in Wascana do receive significant operational funding from the provincial coffers. Which TCU place in Saskatoon does not.
    The interesting part which seems to have been missed is the provices discussion of creating a "Provincial Capital Commission" like the National Capital Commission in Ottawa and that this new facility would receive support from the province.
    I have no problem if the three levels of gov't want to help fund the construction of the facility (buying votes) as long as the ongoing operations are funded by the City of Regina and not on the backs of provincial taxpayers.

  10. Anon 3:42. The flaw in your argument is that none of these facilities make money much less have surplus revenue. If they did, there would be no discussion about whether subsidies should be borne by local or provincial tax payers.

  11. Beg to differ but both Credit Union Centre and and TCU in Saskatoon are self sustaining

  12. TCU is not self sustaining


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