24

Nov 18

Upgrades needed as Regina gets ready for major upcoming events

For sports fans, the next 18 months will be extra special as Regina will be hosting five major sporting events and at least one high-profile concert.

In 2017

Aug. 27: Guns N’ Roses Concert at new Mosaic Stadium

Sept. 5-10: Grand Slam of Curling’s season-opening Tour Challenge at the Co-operators Centre.

Oct. 26-29: Skate Canada International at the Brandt Centre

In 2018

Mar. 8-11: Canadian University Women’s Basketball Championship at University of Regina

ChangSha Night Net

Mar. 17-27: Memorial Cup at the Brandt Centre

The Brandt Centre will still need to undergo upgrades to get it ready for the centennial Memorial Cup.

“We do know that there will be a requirement for more seats and we’ve accommodated that in the past for other events,” Regina Exhibition Association communications manager Paula Kohl said.

The whole property is really built around attracting those events, so we’re ready, bring it on.”

As the Brandt Centre prepares for upgrades, so too is Regina’s airport.

YQR airport boasted record-breaking passenger numbers last year, and that trend is expected to continue.

“We hit an all-time record of over 1.26 million passengers,” Regina Airport Authority president and CEO Richmond Graham said.

Graham said he expects to see passenger traffic double within the next decade and said the airport is ready to welcome the influx of visitors coming into the city.

“The mornings are very busy and the gate space are sometimes limited. But we do have expansion plans that we are working on,” Graham said.

“We see expansion to meet that requirement and we need to build into the future.”

Longtime volunteer Bernadette McIntyre said people have already started asking about volunteer opportunities.

“Right after we announced the Brier, we were getting calls. People were saying you know when it’s time to sign me up, let me know,” McIntyre said.

Despite a couple of events coinciding, McIntyre said she doesn’t believe there will be a shortage of volunteers nor volunteer fatique.

“We do have a little bit of overlap with the Brier and the CIS Women’s Basketball Championship but I think we got enough volunteers to make both those events huge successes,” she said.

McIntyre estimates there will be 600-700 volunteers for the Tim Horton’s Brier.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out that those teams with new stadiums at some point will get a Grey Cup to show support for them,” Mayor Michael Fougere said Thursday.

“I am wanting a Grey Cup, I’ll say that much. Whether it happens is another issue. I’m pushing for that,” he said.

“Stay tuned.”

Follow @ChristaDao