Baseball enthusiasts in the Queen City gathered Wednesday evening for an open house viewing of the concept plans for a proposed baseball stadium in Regina.
The open house was hosted by the Regina Red Sox Baseball Club and Living Sky Sports & Entertainment (LSSE), one of the investors of the stadium, was on from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Regina Minor Football headquarters.
Throughout the evening, baseball lovers dropped by to look at concept plans for the proposed 3,500-seat, state-of-the-art stadium, which is planned to be built by the vacant railyards on Dewdney Avenue.
A franchise member of the Western Canadian Baseball League, the Red Sox would be the anchor tenant of the stadium.
Key stakeholders say they were excited to see so many people come out to discuss the benefits the stadium would offer both the community and province at large.
“It’s been really good. We’ve had lots of people down here tonight, and everybody that’s come down is really excited about this project,” said Gary Brotzel, president of the Regina Red Sox Baseball Club.
“We’ve just spent time talking to people and going over the concept plans and everyone’s really bought into it,” Brotzel added.
Alan Simpson, the founder of LSSE, said the stadium could be a big economic driver for the area and also bring some much needed vibrancy.
“We anticipate (it) will be able to attract 3,500 plus fans per game,” Simpson said. Add in the playoffs, he added, and the stadium could attract 100,000 to 110,000 people per season to the warehouse district
The club averages 32 games per year from May to August.
Simpson went on to say the stadium could also help attract potential baseball players who tend to be drawn to cities in Alberta due to the large baseball stadiums those areas have to offer.
The concept plans of the stadium were submitted to city council in April and the plan estimates the project could cost anywhere from $18 million to $25 million dollars.
Brotzel said the club is waiting for the city to take the next steps in creating a formal agreement outlining the exact cost of the project.
The club recently signed a memorandum of understanding with LSSE, which helped work on the concept plans.
LSSE will also help facilitate the club’s financial participation with construction costs.
The stadium would also be used by other baseball teams in the city and would function as a venue for outdoor events, such as spring and summer festivals, concerts, flea markets and even movie nights.
— with files from Jonathan Guignard