People from across the province – and all over Canada – have stories about the current Mosaic Stadium.
Often still referred to by its original name of Taylor Field, the stadium’s 100-year history is steeped in memories, but none are more poignant than those of former players.
“It was a lot smaller than what it is now…played on grass fields and it was a pretty good field that we played on,” said former running back George Reed.
“I wasn’t quite used to what I walked into when I came here, so it was quite different.”
Mosaic Stadium is still talked about as “the house that Ron and George built,” referring to the late Ron Lancaster and Reed.
For 13 seasons, Reed CFL.
These days, the running back isn’t moving so quickly. He played his whole career with the Riders, his first game in 1963.
“What the hell I was getting myself into? That was the first thing that came to my mind because I wasn’t prepared for what they had when I got here,” Reed said.
“First two years I played, they even let people sit on the grass on the sidelines.”
Reed played college football at Washington State, so he was used to nice facilities. Quite the contrast coming to Regina, where the team had to change at the exhibition grounds and then board a bus to the stadium.
But Reed never lost sight of what was important – he became a legend with the Riders, taking them to the top of the league and playing an integral part in the 1966 Grey Cup win.
His incredible football career is one of the reasons, more than 40 years after his last game, Reed is still one of the most well-known Roughriders.
The former player still goes to all home games, walking past his name and pictures every time, but said he doesn’t dwell on his glory days.
“I come to the games to enjoy the games and so forth, sit right behind the players’ bench and watch the games,” he said.
“It’s an honour that they have my name up on places. That’s a great honour. But I never really think about it.”
Instead, Reed focuses on what’s ahead. He said a new stadium has been needed for quite a while and believes fellow legend Lancaster would agree.
“They’ve made a good job of patching this space together and putting it together and everything else – but really, it was outdated when I come to here to play. And so yeah, it’s time for them to move to a new field and it will be a great one.”
While many fans have said they’re going to shed a few tears during the last Rider game at the stadium on Saturday, Reed said he doesn’t have a sentimental attachment to Taylor Field itself.
“You will always have memories with the guys that you played with and this type of thing, you never lose that. The surroundings, that’s one thing, but the guys that you played with, that’s what it’s all about and that’s what’s important to me.”
The Roughriders are making the last game at Taylor Field into a big event Saturday, with a celebration at 2 p.m. and game kickoff at 5 p.m.