Regina Red Sox release concept plans for proposed 3,500-seat stadium on Dewdney Avenue

·4 min read
The proposed stadium would be in the railyards area along Dewdney Avenue in the Warehouse District.  (Submitted by Regina Red Sox Baseball Club - image credit)
The proposed stadium would be in the railyards area along Dewdney Avenue in the Warehouse District. (Submitted by Regina Red Sox Baseball Club - image credit)

The Regina Red Sox Baseball Club and Living Sky Sports and Entertainment Inc. released concept plans for a proposed 3,500-seat stadium on Dewdney Avenue on Wednesday.

The stadium would be on the vacant railyards site. The city purchased the former Canadian Pacific Railyard lands in 2012.

The team says this would be a state-of-the-art stadium with the Red Sox as the anchor tenant. It said the stadium could be used by other baseball teams and leagues, and for festivals, concerts, flea markets and movie nights.

The club said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Living Sky Sports and Entertainment Inc., which will help with the financial aspects of the stadium's concept plans.

It said it expects the project to cost about $20 million to $25 million. The club would put in about $5 million and the rest would come from the city or other funds the city could access, said Alan Simpson. the president of Living Sky Sports.

Simpson said that if the project is approved, financing could be found this year, construction started in 2022 and the stadium could open as soon as 2023 or 2024.

"A ballpark stadium is long overdue, and we hope the City of Regina see the merits of our vision and plan so we can work together to make this a reality," Gary Brotzel, president of the Regina Red Sox, said in a statement.

Brotzel said with an average of 32 Western Canadian Baseball games per year and 3,200 fans per game, there would be 100,000 people travelling to the Warehouse District between May and August. Brotzel said the club loves the location and thinks the stadium is a positive move for everyone.

"We're not playing ball right now, so we can start thinking about the future and I think people are going to be dying to be able to go out to a ball game on a beautiful day in a beautiful ballpark in the middle of summer to watch baseball in Regina," Brotzel said.

Brotzel said an amusement tax on ticket sales, and the potential for naming rights and sponsorships, mean the project would not not be too costly for Regina residents. He said the Red Sox could pay the mortgage through the years.

He said no sponsors are confirmed at this time.

Former councillor Jerry Flegel has pushed for a baseball stadium to be built on the site.

Bernie Eiswirth, general manager of the Red Sox, said it's becoming increasingly difficult for the team to play at Currie Field in the Mount Pleasant Sports Park. He said the 60-year-old field makes it tough to recruit players and remain competitive.

The Regina Red Sox say a new stadium like the one outlined in this concept image is overdue.
The Regina Red Sox say a new stadium like the one outlined in this concept image is overdue. (Submitted by Regina Red Sox Baseball Club)

"As of now, Alberta teams have superior venues that gives them a significant recruiting advantage, but just as important, Currie's old infrastructure severely limits our options for food and beverage, seating, parking and our ability to attract corporate sponsors," Eiswirth said.

Eiswirth said that at Currie Field, the bathrooms are in a temporary building, concession is in a temporary building without working air conditioning, there is no dressing room for visiting teams and there isn't suitable parking.

"I've been doing this for 16 years now and I still get people asking me where Currie Field is. You know, it's time," Eiswirth said. "I'm positive we need a new baseball stadium."

Mayor Sandra Masters said city council hasn't formally discussed the proposed baseball stadium along Dewdney Avenue.
Mayor Sandra Masters said city council hasn't formally discussed the proposed baseball stadium along Dewdney Avenue. (CBC)

Mayor Sandra Masters said city council has not officially discussed the stadium, but the club has presented informally to councillors about it.

"They would like to be located downtown. We appreciate that. I think it's fair to say that Currie Field could use some love," Masters said.

"If you're going to invest out [at Currie Field], is that the best place? … Probably not. And so it just needs to enter into the discussion in terms of, again, our long term visionary planning for where do we want to put that and and how do we support that going forward."

Masters said the stadium has to be considered along with other community projects.

The Regina Red Sox previously played at Currie Field. Their 2020 and 2021 seasons were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Regina Red Sox previously played at Currie Field. Their 2020 and 2021 seasons were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (CBC)

Simpson said the current Currie Field is "a dump built on a dump."

"Now we've got to change. We've got to change the face of baseball in Regina, where Currie Field is no longer adequate. So we just have to get out and get it done," Simpson said.

Simpson said the new baseball stadium would not take events away or compete with Mosaic Stadium, as they would hold a different type of events. He said while Mosaic Stadium can host bands like AC/DC and large 20,000 person concerts, the baseball stadium would hold smaller flea markets and open-air concerts.