Saskatchewan radio host John Gormley doesn’t believe the Roughriders are telling the truth about why the CFL franchise didn’t want an NFL pre-season game in Regina.
From the statement: the Roughriders raised concerns that a Friday evening game would not allow for Mosaic Stadium to convert back to the CFL playing standard in time for the Riders regular season game on Saturday, August 24 at 5 p.m. The Riders, along with the Canadian Football League, identified significant risks.
Gormley reported the possible NFL exhibition game between the Raiders and Packers won’t happen in Regina. The city of Regina and soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders had been in discussions about the possibility of playing an NFL exhibition contest in the Saskatchewan capital. But Gormley said the Raiders-Packers game won’t happen in Regina because a certain green and white football team didn’t want anything to do with it.
“The Riders actually said – and I had unimpeachable sources on this – we don’t think there’s enough money. Garth Brooks is going to do a three-day run just a bit before that, you got families saving for the outdoor hockey classic, oh we got the Redblacks in town and our ticket sales are never really good with the Redblacks, so we don’t think there’s enough money, which is demeaning and it’s insulting,” Gormley said.
“And I thought the Riders exemplified the new Saskatchewan, but that sounded an awful lot like the 1998 Saskatchewan Roughriders.”
The NFL approved the Raiders relocation to Vegas in March 2017, but the Las Vegas Stadium isn’t scheduled to be completed until 2020. The Raiders lease agreement with the city of Oakland for the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum expired after the 2018 season. An agreement for 2019 has been reached between the Raiders and Coliseum officials, but the silver and black franchise had already sought playing a pre-season game in Canada.
“I had confirmation three weeks ago, the teams were in and that was the important part, but there was a big financial nut that would have to be covered in terms of the sponsorship and the number of seats,” Gormley said.
“Randy Ambrosie and the board of governors jumps in behind this because it’s the Riders. The Riders here, this is what’s so demeaning to Saskatchewan and the football brand. I’m hearing from some Vegas friends they were going to bring Bo Jackson in as a draw.”