Two years ago the Edmonton Oilers shut out the Winnipeg Jets to win the 2016 Heritage Classic. Now, all eyes are on Regina as the city prepares to be the first without an NHL team to host the outdoor game.
“We’ll be showcasing this stadium for Canada, North America and the world. They’ll see this is a world-class facility and this will lead to better things in the future,” Mayor Michael Fougere said.
According to the Regina Hotel Association, in the past five years, the accommodation sector has grown by 30 per cent, making it possible to host world-class events like the Brier, CP Women’s Open and the Memorial Cup.
“Regina is known as a very strong event destination. That is huge for our hospitality industry,” CEO Tracy Fahlman said.
“Everybody that is involved in the tourism and hospitality industry, we count on having a vibrant event destination and we are achieving it.”
Now the Queen City will have one more major event, the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, to add to its resume, with $15 million dollars expected in economic growth.
“That’s including staying in hotels. That means they’re eating in our restaurants and checking out things not only at the event and surrounding the event, but in the downtown core, in the warehouse district and some of our attraction partners and the tourism assets we have in our city,” tourism director with Economic Development Regina Ashley Stone said.
Last year, Regina was named the number one destination with a population under 500,000 people to host a national or international sporting event.
“If you look at the investment of the new Mosaic Stadium or the ITC centre, what we have is a campus that can just grow to be more energized, be more activated and actually be a showcase for us,” Evraz Place President and CEO Tim Reid said.
Looking forward, Reid says the opportunity now lies in connecting Evraz with other parts of the city.
“I think we have to be more vision-oriented and more future-oriented around how we connect to downtown, but also how we connect with the warehouse district and the airport and other parts of our community that are so well designed,” Reid said.
While details on the Heritage Classic are expected to be released in the coming weeks, there’s no denying the future is bright.
“We’re a relatively small market for this type of an event and truly this is an historic opportunity,” Reid said.