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Bran
05-26-2006, 08:39 PM
From CJME.com

The Changing Face of Exhibition Park
posted May 26th, 2006


A renovated Brandt Centre, seating up to 8,000 spectators, factors into the plans for a new and improved Regina Exhibition Park.

The arena would get a face-lift under the proposal -- with some re-configured seating, so the capacity is boosted from just under 6,000 now -- and allow for some new sky boxes.

Proposals, in the conceptual phase for renovations of the park, include replacement of the old barns, between the Canada Centre, and the Credit Union Eventplex. Regina Exhibition Stadium would also be history. The Regina Exhibition Association envisions a new multi-use facility going up in their place -- one that would enable Regina to keep such high profile events as the Royal Red.

Of course, all this hinges on money. The association hopes the multi-million-dollar development will involve a private-public partnership, so construction can start as early as next year.

Brent Pushkarenko reporting

Fight Guy
05-27-2006, 11:44 AM
From the Leader-Post today...apperantly they don't have the pictures online, and I'm not going to scan them now.
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Multi-million-dollar facelift in the works
New complex to be built

Angela Hall, Leader-Post
Published: Saturday, May 27, 2006

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The Regina Exhibition Association proposed a multi-million dollar overhaul Friday that would see a massive multi-use complex built in the park and the removal of several aging buildings.

The proposed renewal plans also include the Brandt Centre, where the seating would be replaced and the capacity increased.

Mark Allan, president and CEO of the association, said an "agri-trade and event complex" in Regina Exhibition Park would be up to 400,000 square feet and could host livestock shows, indoor winter sports and other events.

"I'm really looking to move away from single-purpose buildings that are only used occasionally, to high-flex buildings that are used more often, everyday," said Allan.

"The kinds of features that will be in the new space will make it a lot more of a people place for people to spend their time."

A cost for the project hasn't yet been pinned down, but funding from all levels of government and the private sector will be required, Allan said.

"I think it's less than $100 million and more than $50 million. It's a large project, if we're able to actually accomplish all of it," he said.

"Also, part of how far we go with all of this will depend on how much money we're able to obtain."

Doing the upgrades is critical to keeping major events that draw revenue and people to the city, Allan said. It's also important as facilities in other cities, including Edmonton and Calgary, undertake significant improvements, he said.

The Royal Red Arabian horse show might not consider coming back after 2008 if issues such as barn roof repairs aren't addressed, he said.

"Quite honestly, we need something tangible to be in place to retain the Royal Red within a year to two years."

Bringing in a new, energy-efficient complex would mean removing about eight to 10 current structures -- including the row of buildings from Exhibition Stadium to the Harlton building. The barns directly to the east would also be taken down.

Concept drawings show how the new complex, attached to the existing Canada Centre, might look to visitors entering the park from Lewvan Drive, as well how it might look from the north.

Allan said the association will find a way to offer "due respect" to the people old buildings are named after, as well as to the people who have "great memories" of the facilities that will be torn down.

The size of the new complex would allow for up to six sheets of ice, he said.

"Because of the space that's required to maintain these major livestock shows, it dictates a fairly big footprint so we'll be looking at what's the best business case as we move forward."

Shannon McArton, vice-president of Canadian Western Agribition, said the park revitalization is long overdue, and will be welcomed by people who attend the international livestock show every November.

"We're at a critical stage and we just can't wait for this to happen," McArton said.

Agriculture Minister Mark Wartman said the provincial cabinet has been keeping up on the vision for the park.

"I have no doubt that we're going to be there as part of a tri-partite public funding for this and it's great to see the private partners that are gathered here today as well," said Wartman, as the plan was unveiled in front of packed room at the Queensbury Convention Centre.

Mayor Pat Fiacco said the city is also behind the project, with the continued revitalization of the park identified as a priority.

"We needed to wait to confirm the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, which was announced in the federal budget. Now we can start moving forward."

Fiacco said he would like to see the project get underway by the fall of 2007.

"In regards to the Brandt Centre -- stay posted. In the next couple of weeks we'll be making a major announcement," said Fiacco, who would not elaborate.

Plans for the Brandt Centre include replacing the seats, and adding retractable seats in the lower bowl of the west end. That would allow a concert stage to be located further back, and allow for about 1,200 additional seats for a performance.

Neil Donnelly, vice-president of marketing with the exhibition association, said the longer-term proposal also includes filling in the upper level at the east end of the arena, creating more permanent seats.

"The building was designed such that you could take the balcony and wrap it all the way around, so by doing so you could, No. 1, add more sky boxes," Donnelly said. "And then you could also add that extra seating there as well."

Regina Exhibition Park has already undergone phase one of its redevelopment, with the grand opening last year of a $13 million, 90,000 square foot multi-purpose facility, named the Credit Union Eventplex.

Those initial improvements included expanding and improving space in the Queensbury Convention Centre.

Those changes, combined with what's now being proposed, will mean Regina can retain events in the short term and also go after new ones, said Steve McLellan, executive director of Tourism Regina.

"It's huge in so many ways," he said. "This is certainly step one of a longer process, but it means that we're at least going down the road to create these new facilities, and enhance facilities."
The Leader-Post (Regina) 2006
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Proposed Brandt expansion gets Pats' Parker's approval

Rob Vanstone, The Leader-Post
Published: Saturday, May 27, 2006

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Bigger is not necessarily better for Regina Pats general manager Brent Parker, who nonetheless endorses a proposal to expand the Brandt Centre.

"You have to be careful about getting a venue that's too large for a majority of your events,'' Parker said Friday after the Regina Exhibition Association's plans were unveiled.

"On the other side of the coin, to attract new and additional events, sometimes you need more seats. We recognize the fact that the facility is there for all the citizens of Regina, not just the Pats.''

The Brandt Centre currently accommodates 6,120 spectators, including standing-room customers and occupants of private boxes.

The REA's proposal calls for the capacity to be increased to about 7,000 seats for sporting events such as WHL games, the Agribition rodeo and major curling competitions. The additional permanent seats would be in the east end of the arena.

Parker has repeatedly spoken out against the notion of increasing the capacity to rival that of Saskatoon's Credit Union Centre, which has 11,310 seats. The streamlined expansion concept meets with his approval.

"We have an opportunity to be a partner in something that's exciting for the city,'' said Parker, whose Calgary-based father, Russ, has owned the team since 1995. "We're not going to be so self-serving as to put ourselves first in this.

"I think it's exciting. Everything progresses forward. The right people are excited about the project and are on board. With everything that the mayor (Pat Fiacco) gets his teeth into, he seems to find a way to get it done. If it all comes to fruition, it'll be an exciting facility for the citizens.''

The blueprint also calls for Brandt Centre's existing seats, many of which are in disrepair, to be replaced. There will be other upgrades to the arena.

Parker has frequently lamented the conditions downstairs at the Brandt Centre, which opened in 1977. He said the hockey team has been forced to deal with issues such as mould and water in the dressing room.

"They recognize that we're now operating in substandard conditions and they're trying to do something to rectify the problem,'' Parker said. "Kudos to them.

"(Exhibition association president-CEO) Mark Allan has done a tremendous job in raising money and getting corporate partners in line so this can be done.''

That said, the project is not a fait accompli. Sufficient money will have to be raised through corporate contributions and governmental support.

Due to the limited size of the arena, temporary bleachers had to be installed when the 2006 Brier was held at the Brandt Centre. That seating created a capacity of about 7,200 people for the recent Canadian men's curling championship.

"What we're trying do is accomplish what the Brier did, but in a more permanent fashion so when the Bernadette McIntyres of the world want to do events, they don't have to go to the expense of bring in all these temporary bleachers,'' said Neil Donnelly, the REA's vice-president of marketing. "We want the facility to have that as a regular amentity.''
The Leader-Post (Regina) 2006

nivek_wahs
05-31-2006, 06:01 AM
I personally look forward to the "expansion" fix-up of the Agridome... I mean Brandt Centre. Many of the seats are WAY beyond repair (some were like that 10 years ago). It will be interesting what the finished product looks like.

Hockey Regina Inc. and hockey in Regina (generally) need the new ice rink facility (6 rinks would be awesome). Many of the rinks in Regina are ummm... to put this nicely... HORRIBLE. I wont name which ones but if you are familiar with the rinks in Regina you probably have a good idea which ones I am talking about.

I say way to go Regina Exhibition Association... for now.

I wonder how much parking will be once it is completed? :skeptical :p :laugh:

Fight Guy
06-01-2006, 10:59 PM
[QUOTE=nivek_wahs]Many of the rinks in Regina are ummm... to put this nicely... HORRIBLE./QUOTE]Well, it's pretty sad when you you need to use 2-3 dressing rooms for a team because they are so small...*cough* Kinsmen/Optimist *cough*. The Richie and Dough Wickenheiser are the only decent ones now. The Hamilton, Belfour, Staples, and Mahon are all the exact same and out of date. New rinks will be awsome.

nivek_wahs
06-03-2006, 01:35 PM
. The Hamilton, Belfour, Staples, and Mahon are all the exact same and out of date. New rinks will be awsome.

I think keeping those rinks around for a few years will be important... the city is fixing the rinks up and actually putting plexi-glass in instead of the chicken-wire/chainlink/mesh crap that surrounds the ends. Having a 4 or 5 or 6 rink facility they could have some amazing tournaments in one building. Instead of having to travel all over the city. I agree that a new facility would be awesome!

Fight Guy
06-03-2006, 01:52 PM
putting plexi-glass in instead of the chicken-wire/chainlink/mesh crap that surrounds the ends.
Wow...it's about time.

nivek_wahs
06-03-2006, 02:16 PM
The Mahon has the plexi in at the one end (non coaches corner end)... all of them are supposed to be "rehabed" by the upcoming season. It makes the rink look so much brighter and way nicer ... its amazing.