Regina stadium eyes extreme weather plan
Fans pan shortage of drinking fountains as mercury hits 35 C during Riders game
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.
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.