NFL Game in Regina
Published: Tuesday, Mar 12th 2019, 7:03am
By: Sheldon Jones (@SheldonJones83)
NFL Game in Regina?
Word came out just over a week ago that the NFL’s Oakland Raiders were looking at staging one of their preseason games in Regina at the home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Mosaic Stadium. The Raiders are in a state of limbo perse as they are in the middle of relocating from Oakland, California to their new home of Las Vegas, Nevada. Currently, the Raiders play in Oakland at Alameda Stadium where they have to share the facility with the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball. After trying for years to find a new stadium in Oakland or the Bay Area of California Owner Mark Davis announced a grand plan to relocate to Las Vegas and build a state of the art Football stadium just off the Strip. Because of the upcoming relocation, it seems that the Raiders are looking at outside options for the 2019 season. They are in discussions with the city of Oakland to play at the Coliseum this year with an option to extend to next year if the new stadium in Vegas is not ready for the start of the 2020 season. It has already been announced that they will play one of their regular season games in London against the Chicago Bears.
The rumour was announced by CJME’s John Gormley backed by “sources”. It also mentions that the opponent for the Raiders is set to be the Green Bay Packers. Since then other local media members have been adding credibility to the rumour, however, the Mayor of Regina Michael Fougere will not confirm or deny the status of the game. Evraz Place (the site of Mosaic Stadium), The Raiders and the NFL have also not confirmed the news.
This is very exciting news for Regina. When Brad Wall and Pat Fiacco first started talking about a new Stadium for the city of Regina they shared a vision reminiscent of baseball movie “Field of Dreams” in the sense that if we build it, they will come. “They” being first class sporting events, attractions, and concerts. Sure Taylor field played host to a handful of concerts and in the past even hosted NFL teams and even the Toronto Blue Jays in an exhibition game, but when the plan was first unveiled it was widely known that the old Mosaic Stadium was not capable of hosting any more events let alone football games for the foreseeable future.
Since the opening of New Mosaic Stadium, it has hosted concerts with artists such as Bryan Adams, Guns N’ Roses and The Eagles. It has hosted an international soccer friendly between Valencia CF and the New York Cosmos. It is the site of the upcoming 2019 NHL Heritage Classic between the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets and unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks it is the home of the 2020 Grey Cup. Not to mention the rumours of a very popular country music artist also playing a couple of shows here this August. If this NFL preseason game comes to fruition this will be a remarkable 3 years for this city and its ability to attract amazing world-class events.
The response from the rumour had been mixed to say the least. There are a lot of people who are very excited at the thought of seeing an NFL game here in little old Regina. As remarkable as it is there is a large contingent of NFL only fans that reside in or around Regina. This can in some parts be contributed to the younger generation growing up playing Madden on their PS4’s or Xbox’s or also with kids playing in the NFL sponsored flag football league in Regina. (The CFL has recently hopped on board to sponsor the fall league) This could be great exposure for not only our nice new stadium but also for these fans to see where the Roughriders play and hopefully get some of these kids interested in coming back to watch CFL games.
On the other hand, a good amount of people are brushing it off as its only a preseason game and they likely won't be seeing any of the starters, so why would they waste their money watching a potentially boring exhibition game. This is understandable and as a Packers fan, I would be remiss to say that I would be very disappointed not being able to see Aaron Rodgers toss up a hail mary here in Regina. Rod Pederson recently revealed that IF indeed this game is played in Mosaic, it would be the 3rd preseason game of 4 and could potentially be the Raider debut game for recently traded Antonio Brown. Historically the 3rd game of the preseason is the game that starters play the most of, so if this is true we are in for a great game and will see our fair share of star calibre players.
I along with everyone will, unfortunately, have to “Dare to Dream” until this announcement becomes official but I for one am eagerly anticipating getting a chance to put on my #12 Packers jersey and cheesehead and can't wait to see Marshawn Lynch’s media scrum with our local sports reporters. It's just too bad that Pilsner place might be a little high for a “Mosaic Leap”