Realty One


Wednesday, January 9, 2013


BYLINE: Kevin Mitchell
Saskatoon Star Phoenix

SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders are kicking around the idea of bringing a CFL exhibition game to Saskatoon.

It's a possibility, Roughriders' general manager Brendan Taman said Tuesday, but far from a certainty.

"I think it's a tough row to hoe quickly, but we're going to keep pursuing it and see where it goes. We're not going to give up on the idea," Taman said Tuesday following a press-conference in Saskatoon called to announce the signings of former University of Saskatchewan Huskies' football players Scott McHenry and Pat Neufeld.

Taman, a Saskatoon native, said the Roughriders' board has told him they want the team to have more of a Saskatoon presence. They're moving training camp to the U of S campus this year, and Tuesday's press conference at a local mall was another indication that they're bulking up their presence in Saskatoon.

The city hosted pre-season CFL games between the Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers every year from 1988 to 1991 at Gordie Howe Bowl, but none have been here since.

"It's not going to happen this year," Taman said. "Saskatoon's got so many things going on here this year that I don't like the odds of that. But maybe in the next year or two, you never know.

"(Saskatoon) probably deserves one. They've talked about getting their own team so I don't think an exhibition is too far of a stretch. But it's challenging because of the variables involved."

Taman stresses that the Roughriders don't want to lose their traditional pre-season home date at Regina's Mosaic Stadium, so an exhibition game in Saskatoon would likely have to come through some kind of arrangement with another CFL team.

They'd also have to get CFL approval, and figure out how to cram more seating into Griffiths Stadium. The stadium currently seats just over 6,000 and drew a team-record 9,033 onlookers this past season during a game against the Regina Rams. They put 12,567 onlookers into both temporary and existing bleachers for the 2006 Vanier Cup.

"The big issue is trying to get seating at Griffiths," Taman said. "They're pretty protective of that track (which encircles the playing surface), and that's a problem in getting a number of seats in there without affecting the track. They were able to move it around for the Vanier, but a lot of work is involved with an exhibition game. It would take a lot to put it in place quickly, so you'll need a lot of planning and a lot of co-operation from a lot of different people.

"I don't know if it will happen. But the board wants a big presence up here, and it's something we're going to look into. Our home game will probably still be in Regina, but I think they're trying to get creative, get some other team's ideas and look at it that way."



Anonymous said...

City of Saskatoon posturing for a potential CFL franchise, could the Roughriders be centrally relocated pending unforseen circumstances at Regina that board of directors are contemplating with a plan B If New stadium build does not materialize, or Is It just good business product promotion and nothing else? Legitimate question, not fear mongering for City of Regina residence.

Anonymous said...

oh god!!! What's next? ahahaha

Anonymous said...

Saskatoon kicking the tires.

The Woz said...

Unbelievable how conspiracy theories start - this is nothing more than ensuring that they remain the "Saskatchewan" Roughriders to ensure that Saskatoon people keep driving to games and buying stuff...nothing more. Remember that part of the stadium is being paid for by all Sask residents so Riders just trying to say thanks for your money Saskatoon taxpayers. And Saskatoon is certainly not "centrally located".

Anonymous said...

Who cares...let them have the exhibition game. Other than Saskatoon holding training camp this will be the only way the riders will play in Saskatoon ever. They want everything. It will calm those idiots up there that think that the riders should move permanently up there. For all you Saskatoon know it alls, the season why the riders play out of regina because they used to be known way back as the Regina Roughriders. What does saskatoon have that regina has not.... What a polluted river?

Anonymous said...

Lived there for 13 long years. Worst sports town ever...unless it was for a short term thing like world juniors/some curling tournament. There will never be pro football or hockey there, get over yourselves.

Parkside said...

"Kicking tires" "Get over yourselves" "They want everything" "not centrally located" "all you Saskatoon know it alls"
Apparently you Regina lovers and your beauty comments can't read either.
See Taman:"...the board wants a big presence up here, and it's something we're going to look into. "
Is the board full of Saskatoonians?
p.s. Prince Albert is central Saskatchewan. Will they get a team? haha.

The Woz said...

Parkside - look at a map of Sasky....

Anonymous said...

Take note Regina ! Roughriders board wants more of a Saskatoon presence. Bulking up the Saskatoon presence, Riders Gm Taman quote.

Parkside said...

Out of all the the comments you want to get geographical Woz? haha. Trust me, I dont need to stare at a map. Im "sasky" thru and thru bud. Not a big deal. Was just trying to lighten the mood...

Anonymous said...