Are the Saskatchewan Roughriders Too Thirsty for Sponsorship Money?

What’s Going on at Mosaic Stadium?

Can I just say that I am a fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders? I’ve been going to Rider games, both as a fan and as a volunteer since I was young. I even did a Good-Bye post for the old Mosaic Stadium with some of my memories. And I’m excited by the new Mosaic Stadium! It’s wonderful to have a state of the art stadium that will create an amazing viewing experience for all the fans who suffered through the old stadium with no hot water, dripping ceilings, and rock hard bench seats.

The new Mosaic Stadium is beautiful, but the Riders aren’t the only ones who can take credit for that. Both city and provincial taxpayers have helped pay for this stadium that apparently is one of the nicest in North America.

So why do fans and residents feel like their thoughts don’t matter?

Saskatchewan roughriders

The Craft Beer Controversy

Due to a sponsorship agreement, Molson Coors is the only beer product you can buy at Mosaic Stadium. The Saskatchewan Craft Brewers Association (SCBA) negotiated with the Riders for months but could not come to an agreement that included beer sales during Rider games.

The beer you can buy includes Molson Canadian, Coors Light, among others. What it doesn’t include is Rebellion Pale Ale, Nokomis Craft Ale, District Brewing Beer, or any other craft beer. Your hard earned $9 will go out of the province, rather than staying and helping a local entrepreneur hire more local employees.

Sponsorship is vital to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but let’s not forget that Regina and Saskatchewan residents have a financial hand in this expensive building.

Mosaic Stadium before Regina Rocks concert- photo courtesy of Trent Haus

Keeping our Money in Saskatchewan

Think about it, when you buy a beer at Rebellion Brewery (for example), the vast majority of the funds stay right here in Regina. When you buy a Coors Light, the majority of the money goes back to the investors. I haven’t done any research, but I imagine the majority of investors for Molson Coors don’t reside in Saskatchewan. In fact, Molson Coors is a huge multinational conglomeration, with a no production plants in Saskatchewan.

When we, as consumers, shop local, we are not helping a CEO buy another private jet. We are helping a local entrepreneur put shoes on their children’s feet, or employ local employees, or sponsor a little league baseball team. In the global economy, it’s more than ever to support local businesses.

Why not Create a Unique Saskatchewan Experience?

Die-hard beer lovers are passionate about what makes a good beer. They say small batch brewing makes the beer taste more flavourful, while the craft process means the beer contains more ingredients than a mass produced beer. Since a beer master tweaks the recipe countless times in order to attain the best possible flavour, as a craft beer drinker, you are ensured a delectable taste in every sip. Craft beer tends to contain more alcohol and less water, so you need to buy less.

So we could, as an innovative stadium, create a uniquely Saskatchewan experience by selling uniquely Saskatchewan products, including the beer. All of a sudden, we are innovators in more ways than the locker rooms or VIP rooms.

Or we can be one of a number of stadiums that sell the same old products.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Evraz Place have done a great job of attracting local restaurants into the stadium. You can visit Rock Creek, Lancasters, or Sweet Ambrosia during the games to enjoy upscale pub grub while you watch the Riders play. Can you imagine a Mosaic Stadium experience that included both locally made food and beer?

Mosaic Stadium on Canada Day- photo courtesy of Roger Beaulieu

A Side Note

The decision on what type of beer to sell was made by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Evraz Place, and City of Regina from what I understand. And I don’t doubt that it’s was a difficult decision, but ultimately, not every decision should be made based upon the money thrown around. Even when the Riders aren’t winning many games, the fans still stand behind the team, so it would be nice if this community owned team also fully supported local businesses.

Since this is a blog, I don’t have to pretend to be unbiased, but I would love to hear your side of the story if you think selling Molson Coors beer is the way to go. If you agree with me, you can also leave a comment since I love it when people agree with me 🙂 Leave a comment and I promise to respond.

Special thanks to everyone who sent me some pics of the new stadium! I really appreciate your submissions!


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