The government of Saskatchewan loves to throw around their love of the hometown Roughriders whenever politically expedient, but they are about to make putting on your watermelon helmet and going to Mosaic Stadium a little more expensive.
The provincial government recently unveiled its latest budget, which includes an application of the six percent provincial sales tax to admission fees and entertainment starting in October. That means a hike in prices for Saskatchewan Roughrider tickets, as well as other sporting events, shows, concerts, and rodeos.
The move comes ahead of the 109th Grey Cup, scheduled to take place in Regina this November.
Coupled with a number of non-CFL related tax hikes, the budgetary changes are expected to bring in $33 million annually in order to address financial issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those stemming from bed shortages and surgery back log in the health sector.
The budget projects a $463 million deficit for the next fiscal year. The Saskatchewan Party does not anticipate balancing the budget until 2026-2027.
The Riders are hoping to see a boost in attendance for the 2022 season after premier Scott Moe lifted all COVID-19 restrictions in February, but have acknowledged that some fans may be hesitant to return. Those that do will now see the price of their ticket go up to help the government’s damage control.