It was a disappointing Game 5 for Raptors fans, but turnout for Mosaic Stadium‘s Jurassic Park exceeded expectations.
Tim Reid, Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) president and CEO, anticipated 5,000 people in the stands on Monday; the official count was 13, 838.
“To see almost 14,000 people come out to that game was something I’ll never forget,” Reid said. “It was pretty special.”
Now, Mosaic Stadium is planning to host a Riders-Raptors joint viewing party Thursday.
The Maxtron will run the Roughriders season opener against Hamilton at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Raptors Game 6 will take over the big screen and sound system, while the Riders game will switch to the secondary screen in the northeast corner of the stadium.
“We’re prepping for 20,000 people, so we think it’s going to be a heck of a party,” Reid said.
While Monday’s party is being dubbed a success, there’s one complaint coming from fans: the lengthy concession lines.
With only a handful of vendors open, some fans waited an hour to buy popcorn. Others chose to skip the lines altogether.
“The lines were definitely a lot longer than I thought and the ATM lines were a lot worse,” Raptor fan Howard Ha said. “When people were done using the ATM, they would go to the concessions and the lines for that would be way too long. It was definitely inefficient.”
Reid says those long lines should dwindle for Thursday’s game.
“We’ve reached out to all the vendors in the stadium around the main concourse and given them an opportunity to open, as well as some of our secondary vendors.”
If all goes well, Reid says there could be an opportunity to host future viewing parties for Riders away games. However, a lot of money and work goes into putting on free events at the stadium.
“When we have a large-ticketed event, you receive the dollars from the tickets as well as the food and beverages and it makes a ton of sense. Items like [Monday] night are a bit of a break-even [event],” Reid said. “We just want to recover our hard costs associated with the stadium and that’s where we were [Monday] evening.”
Gates 2 and 3 will open at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
The City is advising fans to leave an hour early, due to construction. On-site parking will be limited as preparation for the Farm Progress Show gets underway.
Free transit shuttle services will also be running.
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