Transforming Regina’s Mosaic Stadium into a hockey rink won’t be cheap, and now, residents are getting a better idea of how much it’ll cost the city to host the 2019 National Hockey League’s Heritage Classic later this year.
On Jan. 1, the NHL announced that the Queen City was selected for an NHL game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Calgary Flames on Oct. 26.
Evraz Place included several requests for financial support from community organizations in its bid, to the tune of more than $800,000.
“It’s not like when it was in Winnipeg and they could bring assets from an existing NHL franchise literally across the street to be part of a game. In our case, it’s a bit more complex and that’s why the investment is so critical,” Evraz Place president and CEO, Tim Reid said.
While it’s not included in the most recent budget, the city is being asked to contribute $150,000 to make the game a reality.
“The general reserve, is likely where we’ll take that from,” Mayor Michael Fougere said. “But this is an expression of the public support for having an NHL game outside in a beautiful stadium so I don’t see that as much of an issue. I think it’s really our support.”
Tourism Saskatchewan is also kicking in $500,000, along with $150,000 from Regina Hotels Association and $25,000 in the form of in-kind marketing efforts from Economic Development Regina.
“Anytime you can bring your brand in front of millions of viewers of an international audience, that allows us to showcase Regina and Saskatchewan and convince people that this might be a place that they want to consider,” Reid said.
With all eyes on the city, the economic impact from the game will be around $15-18 million including up to 6,000 hotel rooms a night.
“If you were to contrast that to events that we saw last year such as the Memorial Cup or the Brier, or the PGA, the reality of it is- this is one of the strongest returns on investment that we’ll ever see,” Reid said.
The matter goes to a city meeting on Jan. 16 before council on Jan. 28, with the recommendation to approve the $150,000.
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