New Mo­saic al­most per­fect

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DREW ED­WARDS

For­mer Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats re­ceiver Bakari Grant caught the first-ever touch­down pass at Tim Hor­tons Field back in 2014; then caught the sec­ond-ever ma­jor at the grand open­ing of new Mo­saic Sta­dium in Regina last Satur­day.

Some would call chris­ten­ing two new state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties “lucky,” but the cur­rent Roughrider sees it dif­fer­ently.

“In Hamil­ton, I had to go through Guelph, McMaster, bus-over-here, play­over-there, no home field,” Grant said, laugh­ing. “And I played in Ivor Wynne. So I earned play­ing in some­thing re­ally, re­ally nice.”

And it is nice. Regina’s $278 mil­lion sta­dium fea­tures 33,000 seats, 38 suites and a video board — the MaxTron — that’s 40 yards long, mak­ing it the largest in the CFL and the equiv­a­lent of watch­ing more than 500 60-inch TVs stacked to­gether.

Hamil­ton quar­ter­back Zach Col­laros said he’s look­ing for­ward to check­ing out the new digs and fac­ing the typ­i­cally hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment.

“It looks awe­some. Foot­ball is im­por­tant out there and I get that flash­back from when I was in col­lege. You go into th­ese towns and ev­ery­body hates you, yelling at you,” he said. “It’s al­ways ex­cit­ing.” The sta­dium was built by Cana­dian con­struc­tion gi­ant PCL and de­signed by HKS Ar­chi­tects, the firm be­hind AT&T Sta­dium in Dal­las, U.S. Bank Sta­dium in Min­nesota and Lu­cas Oil Sta­dium in In­di­anapo­lis.

It was funded in part with pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal money, but the team — which is com­mu­nity owned — is also con­tribut­ing more than $40 mil­lion. An­other $100 mil­lion will come from ticket sur­charges. In other words, the team and its fans are pick­ing up a hefty por­tion of the cost.

And af­ter de­lays and le­gal is­sues plagued both Hamil­ton and the In­vestors Group Field in Win­nipeg, new Mo­saic was com­pleted on sched­ule, on bud­get and there is no pend­ing lit­i­ga­tion.

Grant says there is one short­com­ing, how­ever.

“No­body has re­ally used the bar­ber shop yet and here’s the thing: the light­ing in there is a lit­tle low — and there’s no bar­ber,” he said. “But I do my own hair and I don’t think any­one else would trust me to do theirs.”

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