A different shade of green could be packing the seats of Mosaic Stadium this summer.
Rumours of a National Football League pre-season game coming to Regina have taken off, but officials are keeping the lid tight on any official announcement.
“This is the epicenter of really serious football fandom,” CJME radio host John Gormley said. “We’re a very small city in a football-crazed province. We would have 33,000 people in a heartbeat to watch, I would argue, any two good NFL teams.”
Gormley said his sources in Wisconsin point to the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders as the likely competitors.
“I know lots of people who will go to Minnesota or even Green Bay for a game,” Packers fan Brett Kowalyk said. “Being able to drive twenty minutes to watch a game would be perfect.”
26 NFL games have been played in Canada since the mid-1920s, the most recent being the Bills-Toronto series in 2013.
The NFL has never strayed beyond Toronto, Hamilton, Montreal, and Vancouver.
Fans of the CFL and NFL alike are excited at the prospect.
“They promote in Europe, why not here? We have a brand new stadium,” Roughriders fan Ron Carey said, though he’d prefer to see the Los Angeles Rams in action.
Gwen Carey agreed.
“I’m very proud of the Riders, but I think it would be great to see that here too.”
The CFL, NFL, Packers, Raiders, and even the city of Regina have declined to comment.
At February’s State of the City address Mayor Michael Fougere hinted at a major event coming to the stadium in August.
The Roughriders have no home games between August 1-24, leaving the third week of NFL pre-season open.
“There isn’t a promoter contract in place. We have multiple holds on facilities at Evraz Place (including the stadium) for various promoters and holds remain until an agreed-upon date by which the promoter confirms and enters into a contract,” an Evraz Place spokesperson said in a statement.
While the number fluctuates frequently, Evraz said there are three-to-six holds on its facilities in August.
“I think what gives a rumour like this credence is hope,” Gormley said. “A lot of us that have been to NFL games really enjoy the environment. If you love the Packers, like I do, if you love the Oakland Raiders, like other Oakland Raiders fan do, you’d love to see them at Mosaic.”