By now, everyone in the province has heard the announcement of a new open-air-roof-ready stadium to be built in Regina with ground breaking next year. Everyone seems to have an opinion on whether its a good thing or not and how much money is being spent…..blah blah blah. The fact is – its happening regardless of your opinion.
If you did happen to miss this major announcement you can watch the announcement here —-> LINK
All this talk and speculation made me feel a little nostalgic for Taylor Field and Mosaic Stadium. It will be torn down in 2017. There will be a whole new generation of fans who won’t know it, won’t be able to go there and who knows? Maybe they won’t care either. I mean, I know how it is when my parents go on and one about something they remember from the 50’s.
But then I thought…..
…..wait a sec. Where did the Roughriders play back in 1910?
At this point I was happy that I had purchased my 100 year Roughrider book on sale for $29.
The first mention of a field or park is in 1910 and my trusty book states “practices were held in Railway Park each afternoon.” Where the Railway Park is located….it doesn’t say. One can only assume it’s somewhere near a train track. I can only speculate, and this is a leap, that perhaps it’s what is now Evraz Place. Wouldn’t THAT be something?
Later on, in 1927 the Regina Roughriders played at Park Hughes/Park de Young. I’m using both names because one source calls Park Hughes a soccer field and Park de Young was used for baseball and football. It seems a bit foggy as to which part the Roughriders actually played on but I suspect it was Park Hughes. There were very few seats and people had to stand on the sidelines to watch games. That sounds like a soccer field to me!
John Marshall Young owned a parcel of land that he was wanting to develop. He had hopes that the Legislature might be built there. When his connections fell through he lost his land to the city for taxes. When he relinquished the land he stipulated that it be used for a recreational park and the name must be Park de Young. He thought it sounded more exotic. This is the part where Park Hughes and Park de Young become one…..although its not written anywhere, but this site states pretty much that http://stats.cfldb.ca/stadium/ It only stands to reason since a new gridiron was laid out and additional seating was installed. I love how the website calls it “open air”. No doubt! People were thrilled with the improvements. Now you could take your date to the game! By 1936 there were ushers and even a press box was built.
Enter NJ Piffles Taylor. He was a law student by day and a quarterback by night. Piffles served as a fighter pilot, was shot down in France and was a prisoner of war. He lost an eye but returned to quarterback the team.
Watch this YouTube video of Rick Mercer visiting the Roughriders in 2006 HERE
Piffles went on to contribute to the whole Regina community and when he died in May of 1947 the city wanted to pay tribute. So the name of Park de Young was formally changed to Taylor Field.
It remained Taylor Field through Lancaster & Reed and through the telethons, and then on June 23rd, 2006 the name changed. Mosaic, which is a potash company, announced a 10 year $3.75 million naming rights contract. [According to my calculations that contract will run out in 2016.] Unlike other naming deals, the name Mosaic was added to the stadium so we have what we now know as Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field.
What will happen in 2017? What will the new stadium be named? We’ll have to wait to find out. What I do know is, back in 1927 no one cared about a roof. They just wanted to go out and support their team. Just like they do today.