Regina sta­dium eyes ex­treme weather plan

Fans pan short­age of drink­ing foun­tains as mer­cury hits 35 C dur­ing Rid­ers game

Calgary Herald - - CITY - PAMELA COWAN [email protected]­media.com

In the af­ter­math of a REGINA scorch­ing hot Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers game on July 29 when 21 fans were treated for heat-re­lated symp­toms, the City of Regina and Evraz Place are dis­cussing an ex­treme weather plan for all events at Mo­saic Sta­dium.

Fans were hot about the lack of wa­ter foun­tains at the sta­dium on a day when the mer­cury reg­is­tered 35 de­grees at kick­off.

“We’re look­ing at hav­ing ... an ex­treme weather plan that could be im­ple­mented when tem­per­a­tures rise above or be­low a cer­tain tem­per­a­ture,” said Kim On­rait, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of city ser­vices and ma­jor projects.

“If the fore­cast would be sim­i­lar to what we saw that par­tic­u­lar day, then they would have a plan that they would im­ple­ment, which could very well be bring­ing in por­ta­ble wa­ter fill­ing sta­tions for peo­ple to ac­cess.”

Of the 21 fans who be­came ill, two re­quired trans­port to hos­pi­tal and six were man­aged by St. John Am­bu­lance.

The ma­jor­ity of those af­fected re­quired flu­ids and cool­ing by paramedics and were then re­leased.

Ger­ald Hein­richs sent let­ters to the Regina Qu’Ap­pelle Health Re­gion’s se­nior med­i­cal health of­fi­cer and the prov­ince’s chief med­i­cal health of­fi­cer sug­gest­ing de­hy­dra­tion ac­counted for the in­juries. He be­lieves the lack of wa­ter foun­tains at Mo­saic Sta­dium poses a se­ri­ous pub­lic health risk and the fa­cil­ity should not be per­mit­ted to hold events un­til it is reme­died.

“This sta­dium brings in 30,000 to 35,000 peo­ple and they had no rea­son­able ac­cess to pub­lic wa­ter,” Hein­richs said.

The de­sign of the sta­dium was done by PCL and their sub­con­tract­ing group.

“When they build a fa­cil­ity like this, they build it to meet na­tional build­ing codes and that’s the way this sta­dium was de­signed,” On­rait said. “We have re­ceived a per­ma­nent oc­cu­pancy per­mit for the sta­dium, which says that we have met all of the health in­spec­tions and we’ve also met the na­tional build­ing code re­quire­ments.”

Hein­richs ques­tions if the sta­dium op­er­a­tors are wil­fully re­strict­ing pub­lic wa­ter ac­cess so they can sell wa­ter for profit.

“It is im­por­tant that we work ... to en­sure that event­go­ers have the right in­for­ma­tion about what they’re al­lowed to bring into the sta­dium,” On­rait said.

Pa­trons at­tend­ing events at Mo­saic Sta­dium are per­mit­ted to bring sealed wa­ter bot­tles no larger than one litre, as well as empty re­fill­able con­tain­ers with a one-litre max­i­mum ca­pac­ity. There is no limit on the num­ber of sealed wa­ter bot­tles or re­fill­able con­tain­ers al­lowed at Mo­saic Sta­dium.

“A lot of sta­di­ums re­strict bring­ing in wa­ter or con­tain­ers, they have higher re­stric­tions on those items than Mo­saic ac­tu­ally has,” On­rait said.

He dis­cour­ages fans from fill­ing wa­ter bot­tles from sinks in wash­rooms.

“The hot and cold wa­ter come into a sin­gle line just be­fore the tap and hot wa­ter can carry con­tam­i­nants in it, so we don’t rec­om­mend that peo­ple re­sort to do­ing that,” On­rait said.

At In­vestors Group Field in Win­nipeg, there are six wa­ter foun­tains and four por­ta­ble wa­ter dis­pensers. There is no charge to re­fill wa­ter bot­tles. The Win­nipeg sta­dium, which has 33,234 seats that can be ex­panded to 40,000, hosted its first game in 2013.

McMa­hon Sta­dium in Cal­gary has no wa­ter foun­tains or bot­tle re­fill sta­tions. How­ever, fans can bring in bot­tled wa­ter and fill bot­tles with potable wa­ter at any of the sinks in the wash­rooms of the 57-year-old sta­dium. The Cal­gary sta­dium seats 35,400.

There are eight com­bi­na­tion wa­ter foun­tains/bot­tle re­fill sta­tions at Tim Hor­tons Field in Hamil­ton. Open­ing in 2014, the sta­dium has 22,500 seats.

At TD Place in Ot­tawa, there are wa­ter foun­tains and re­fill­able sta­tions in all pub­lic ar­eas and wa­ter in the bath­rooms is drink­able ev­ery­where in the 24,000-seat sta­dium.

Fans are also per­mit­ted to bring in empty drink con­tain­ers for CFL games so they can re­fill in­side or bring in sealed wa­ter bot­tles.

This sta­dium brings in 30,000 to 35,000 peo­ple and they had no rea­son­able ac­cess to pub­lic wa­ter.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS/FILES

A fan who com­plained to health of­fi­cials in Regina is ques­tion­ing whether Mo­saic Sta­dium op­er­a­tors are wil­fully re­strict­ing pub­lic wa­ter ac­cess so they can sell wa­ter for profit.

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