PrintPrint

Blue Bombers more game ready as CFL season nears

The Canadian Press

5/13/2013 3:47:19 PM

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will kick off the opening of their new stadium with an Olympic-style run.

But instead of a torch, the 400 runners who traverse a good chunk of southern Manitoba will carry a football.

"I was involved in the Pan American games in 1999," said Bomber vice-president Jerry Maslowsky.

"One of the things I really remember was the torch run and part of that was getting communities handing (off) this torch and bringing it into Winnipeg."

He said they're doing something similar to recognize that the team represents all of Manitoba and not just its namesake city.

The run will begin June 22nd in Portage la Prairie and end June 27th in Winnipeg, when the Bombers host their first regular-season game at Investors Group Field.

The announcement was made at the headquarters of the Great-West Life Assurance Co., which sits on the spot where the old Osborne Stadium once played host to the Bombers.

It was followed in 1953 by Winnipeg Stadium, later known as Canad Inns Stadium, which was torn down this year.

In Winnipeg, the run will pass by the former sites of Osborne Stadium and Canad Inns Stadium before ending up at Investors Group Field.

The 33,500-seat field on the grounds of the University of Manitoba is opening a year behind schedule because of construction delays.

People will be able to apply online or at various sponsors to be one of 300 runners selected from the general public and contest details will be announced May 21. Another 100 runners will include mayors and others already selected.

Former Bomber veteran Doug Brown is a spokesman for the Kickoff Run and joked that no fumbles will be allowed.

"If you fumble the ball, you have to move to Saskatchewan and give me 100 pushups," he said, announcing the rules he decided on his own to impose.

"If you are not a Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan, do not enter to win this contest, otherwise you will be blind-sided by me at some point in your Kickoff Run leg."