New Mosaic Stadium gets passing grade after first test event

Initial feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly positive after the first game at new Mosaic stadium on Saturday.

On a sunny afternoon in front of an announced crowd of 16,500, the University of Regina Rams defeated the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 37-29. Excited fans in attendance were thrilled by the new stadium, and City officials say the test revealed no major issues.

testgame

“The test game was an absolute success,” said a spirited Kim Onrait, Executive Director of City Services and Major Projects. “Fans came to the stadium to do exactly what we wanted them to do – enjoy a provincial rivalry on the field, and test everything around them, from various seating locations to crowd movement through the gates and on the concourse level.”

“Operationally, there were very few glitches. This wasn’t an accident, as a lot of work went into planning for the game and everyone involved did a great job executing the plan.”

Anecdotally, Onrait said the feedback over the past 48 hours has been extremely positive.

“The comments we’re hearing and reading on social media channels tell us how impressed everyone was with the ability to move around freely and the luxury of being able to meet friends no matter where you were situated in the stadium.”

Onrait said formal fan feedback will take place later this week when the City sends out an online survey.

The test game was also the first opportunity for Regina Transit to introduce a free and enhanced charter service that dropped fans off right in front of the stadium doors. Saturday saw more than 3,000 fans use the service offered at Southland Mall, Northgate Mall, Victoria Square Mall, Normanview Shopping Centre and downtown. Currently a typical Saskatchewan Roughrider home game has 1,000 fans use public transit.

“On Saturday we had almost 20 per cent of fans using public transit, so clearly the message got out. We thank everyone who tried it and hope to build off this success for future events in the new facility,” said Onrait.

The enhanced transit program was part of a transportation and traffic plan tested for the first time Saturday. Based on passenger service to the game, the City responded by adding buses post-game.

Fans at the game also helped set a new Canadian Interuniversity Sport – Canada West regular season attendance record. While play was underway at field level, hundreds of security, staff and volunteers worked behind the scenes. Various suppliers were also on scene working on mechanical, electrical and operating systems.

Onrait noted that one concern raised by fans, particularly in the south end of the stadium, was the public-address system. This issue that will be corrected when a cluster of speakers are installed for the official opening in summer 2017.

“We were pleased to see the fans’ excitement around the variety of food vendors, but we did observe the congestion it caused on the main concourse at times. We will make modifications for the second test based on people’s movement,” he said. “This will also improve when vendors move into their permanent spaces.”

The second stadium test is scheduled for late spring of 2017.