Monday, June 26, 2017
RIDERS READY TO OPEN NEW MOSAIC STADIUM
Dressed in a gray suit and a green and white dress shirt, Saskatchewan Roughriders President & CEO Craig Reynolds met with reporters Monday morning at New Mosaic Stadium. The topic? This Saturday's Saskatchewan Roughriders home-opener against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the grand opening of New Mosaic Stadium.
Here are some notes from the session:
WHAT'S THE BEST FEATURE OF THIS STADIUM?
CR: That's a hard question to answer because there's so many fantastic things! Honestly for me, it's the fan reaction to it. I was walking the concourse last game and had so many fans come up and they were loving it. I love the "social aspects" of the game in that they can watch the game however they want to watch it.
If they want to stand and watch the game, they can. If they want to mingle, they can do that with tons of social areas. The fan experience is top notch.
ARE THERE ANY ISSUES LEFT?
CR: Of course. When you do test events, the key aspect is to test the facility and you learn things. There were some operational things that are mostly behind the scenes that aren't necessarily fan-facing. There were transit issues. We promoted it, lots of people used it, but now we have to deliver on the transit side. But generally the feedback was really, really positive.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS HOME-OPENER?
CR: Quite honestly it's one of the most important days in the history of this franchise. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity; to open a stadium in front of our fans. Our fans absolutely deserve this type of facility and it's an amazing tie-in with Canada 150.
CR: I would encourage fans to come early. There will be some pregame festivities and ceremonies and there will be a large scale halftime production with over 200 fans and performers associated with it. We're going to celebrate what we've accomplished collectively as a community and then we encourage everybody to see the fireworks postgame. I don't want to say too much more about the halftime. We've engaged the same group that does the Grey Cup halftime shows so we've been working with them for a long time. It's really going to be a celebration of this province's love for the team and what we've accomplished collectively building this facility.
WHAT ARE YOUR EMOTIONS?
CR: It's a range. It's tremendous pride, tremendous pride in our team in what we've accomplished. An incredible sense of satisfaction in working with the Province and the City to deliver this for our fans. This has always been about our fans. Our fans deserve this type of facility and so to be able to deliver on that, to see the fan response, and to see 33,000 Rider fans enjoying this facility, I say it's "pride".
IS THERE STILL A "WOW" FACTOR FOR YOU?
CR: Absolutely. There's a wow factor when I see our football ops space so every time I see it, it's amazing. Players who've been elsewhere just rave about it. That helps and then just day-to-day, when you show up here and look out over the stadium, it's iconic. It's world-class. We should all be proud.
WHAT STOOD OUT IN THE PRESEASON GAME?
CR: We'd been in here since February but just to see it full of Rider fans, and to hear it, it was loud. We had a great crowd but it's going to be louder on Canada Day. For me it felt full of life for the first time. But how loud will this facility be for that first big play under that roof? It'll be exciting.