Planning to move with the Roughriders

Like all of the 24,000 or so Saskatchewan Roughriders’ season ticket holders, I’m wondering where exactly I’m going to be in June, 2017 when the CFL team debuts its brand-new, $280-million Mosaic Stadium.

We know the cost of tickets is going up. For me it’s about $160 more per ticket, for a total of $480 when we move into the new stadium. And we know approximately where we’re going to be seated, in the general vicinity anyway, because the Roughriders have revealed lots of that information on newmosaicstadium.com.

All that’s left is for all of us to memorize our new section, row and seat numbers we will be assigned, we’re told, in April. If we don’t like the new seats, we can speak to a Riders representative. No promises.

We’re all wishing for the best, but something like this doesn’t happen very often.

With 24,000 seats involved, there may be some busy Riders representatives in the near future. They will be explaining why your new seats are five rows higher, or 10 yards farther from mid-field, or nowhere near your best friend, or more expensive, or cheaper (apparently some seats will be reduced in cost), or why you went from a mid-status section to premier seating (because there are more top-end sections) or why you are now seated on the aisle (there are more sections, hence more aisles).

Yes, I buy Riders season tickets for me and my family. For one preseason game, nine regular-season games and an occasional playoff game, we sit in the sunny, northwest grandstand of old Mosaic Stadium, nine rows behind the visiting team’s bench, so close to the field that when some idiots above us throw open beer cans at head coach Wally Buono and his B.C. Lions, we get wet.

I’m in the media, began writing sports for the Regina Leader-Post in 1983 and, after trying to retire, transitioned into radio work for CJME/CKOM about three years ago. My first sports editor, Bob Hughes, used to write about the Roughriders before allowing me to turn my attention to the CFL and the football team.

Hughes used to buy season tickets. I asked him why. “Because,” he said, “I don’t want anyone saying I get free admission into the stadium’s press box yet criticize the football team. I want to pay my own way so I can be as objective as possible.”

When Hughes anointed me as the Riders’ beat writer in 1988, I started buying season tickets. I’m not saying this to be self-righteous or to criticize anyone else’s methods; I did it because that’s what I was taught by my mentor.

The price of Rider tickets keeps steadily increasing. Now it’s taking a huge jump because the Riders need to raise $40 million as their share of the new stadium. At the moment, I’m still on board and a fair bit poorer. Next, I want to see where we’re sitting and, just in case, get the phone number for that Rider representative.

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