As the third oldest professional football franchise in North America, the Canadian Football League Saskatchewan Roughriders enjoy passionate fan support from Rider Nation. The mayor initiated a plan to replace the 81-year old Mosaic Stadium and develop a new state-of-the-art multi-purpose stadium that could also host concerts, special events and eventually attract related development to spur economic growth throughout the region.
The stadium provides nearly 33,000 seats, expandable to 40,000 for the Grey Cup – the Super Bowl of the CFL. To provide protection for fans from rain and snow, many of the seats are covered by a soaring cantilever roof covered with a fabric membrane that allows 10% light transmission to minimize daytime lighting costs. The roof structure is composed of 56 distinctly shaped roof trusses that create a complex but elegant undulating shape. Walter P Moore used industry-leading digital workflow and parametric modeling to optimize the overall canopy configuration. The analytic model of the entire roof allowed the structural engineer to work with the architect to manipulate the variables to explore hundreds of possible configurations early in the concept design phase, eventually selecting the form that offered the best combination of architectural beauty, structural efficiency, and fan protection. Walter P Moore continued to leverage the power of the parametric structural model to maintain a fluid and lightning-fast design process, enabling the stadium construction to proceed on a fast-track schedule.
Walter P Moore also took the lead in adapting existing technology to develop an innovative cable-supported snow fence atop the roof to minimize the risks of accumulated snow and ice sliding off the sloped and smooth fabric roof. The structural engineer collaborated with the architect, contractor, and specialty suppliers to create a robust series of cables that support a roof-mounted perforated avalanche fence that effectively diffuses snow and directs it to fall to the ground in designated safe areas beyond the footprint of the stadium.
The stadium opened on time and on budget to a tremendous fan response. The new stadium celebrates the city, team and fans. It will also spur on economic growth and build greater community. Attendance during its first year featured eight consecutive sellouts of delighted fans, even as the team experienced a rebuilding season and a third place league finish.