Ballpark project takes a different route

Regina mayor Sandra Masters says she isn’t sure if there is a true need for a new baseball facility in Regina even though many delegations told her and council that there is on Wednesday during a meeting of Regina City Council.

The Regina Red Sox and Living Sky Sports and Entertainment would like to build a new 3,500 seat facility in the Dewdney railyards just off of Albert Street in something that they say would provide the baseball community with a new place to play, give the downtown area some much needed business at night and provide other entertainment opportunities.  The cost of that facility is somewhere between $22 and $25 million.

Officials from the Red Sox, the Western Canadian Baseball League, Baseball Regina and others all let council know of their support for such a facility while reiterating that the current home for baseball in Regina, Currie Field, is simply no longer sustainable with many amenities that are lacking or non-existent.

The cost of a feasibility study on the project would cost $100,000 dollars.  While administration recommended that in a report earlier this year, Executive Committee said no leading to the support shown for such a facility on Wednesday.

In the end, council once again voted against the study, but they did unanimously vote on a motion to request a quote from Regina Exhibition Association Limited to perform a needs assessment.

Regina Red Sox VP and General Manager Bernie Eiswirth, said while it’s not what they are looking for, it means the project still has a heartbeat.

“Yes the voted the feasibility study down again, I think probably for reasons other than what we talked about yesterday, but at least it’s not dead, they referred to the exhibition board who will likely be doing a study on it,” he said.

There were more than four hours worth of delegates who spoke in favour of building a facility, that too is something Eiswirth says was a victory.

“Yeah it was very heartening for us, we’ve been working at this for 18 years and it’s good to see we have that support, he said. “After having two years of no baseball people are dying to get back to the ballpark and for entertainment and going out and being able to pay reasonable money for reasonable entertainment, we’re looking forward to getting back on the field next year, even if it’s at Currie.”

Eiswirth did admit that if nothing is done, it could jeopardize the Red Sox future in Regina.

Mayor Sandra Masters said that a feasibility study is being done for a new aquatics centre, because data in the recreation master plan has indicated more than one time that the need is there to build a new one.

“The recreation master plan. for whatever reason, when it was prepared clearly identified back in 2019 and again in 2019, that an aquatic centre was the number one asset to look at replacing,” Masters said.

However Masters said that doesn’t mean the City has turned a blind eye to the state of Currie Field.

“Do I think it’s out dated, sure I do, “she said, “Do I love the idea of a new baseball stadium, yeah I absolutely do, but I don’t have the data in front of me that can back up that opinion that I hold,” Masters said.

More from Play92