For years, the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team played at an open arena built in 1910. The stadium offered minimum protection from summer heat and harsh winter weather.
With the stadium showing its age, the City of Regina set out to build a CDN $250 million replacement on a nearby site.
Working with lead architect Pattern Design, Mott MacDonald was retained as concept designer, responsible for engineering, quantity surveying, and architecture.
The spectacular new arena features an oval bowl, sunk into the ground for easy access by spectators. All 33,000 seats are protected by an overarching roof built in an elegant shell design rather than as a conventional truss structure. This lightweight solution retains the outdoor feeling of the existing stadium while providing weather protection.
The roof is designed to provide protection from the sun, while louvers beneath the roof promote ventilation to keep spectators comfortable. Computational fluid dynamics was used to model air movement in and around the stadium, allowing the design to be refined to ensure optimum conditions for spectators.
On June 10, 2017, the Roughriders hosted their first game at the new stadium: a pre-season game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Leon Higgins, director of Mott MacDonald’s buildings team in Canada, said, “Our design will all but eliminate the effects of the wind while allowing sun into the stadium. We calculate that can increase operating temperature inside the facility during winter by up to 36° F.”
The new stadium can be used for an extra two months a year: one month at either end of the current playing season. The design allows for the installation of a retractable roof in the future, enabling year-round use.
Fire engineering is being used to optimize safety and maximize usable space. Because stands “bounce” when a crowd moves in unison, the structure is designed to self-damp such movement, allowing longer spans and lighter-weight materials to be used.