Stadium on schedule

For those who have been patiently waiting for more details to be released about the new Blue Bomber stadium being built on campus, your wish was granted. Last week, the Blue Bombers held a press conference where they announced their intended season ticket transition process, ticket pricing and the basic layout of the most significant features to be built into the stadium.

Even though the stadium is still months away from its scheduled grand opening, fans can take a virtual tour of the new football stadium by going onto the Winnipeg Blue Bomber’s official website and clicking on “Virtual Venue.” Fans can use the 3D model of the stadium to scope out which section they might want to sit in and get a first-person view of sight lines offered by the new bowl-seating configuration.

Current Bomber season ticket holders will get first dibs at seats in the new stadium, but will have to put a $50 deposit down on all of their current seats by Oct. 24. Between November and March season tickets holders will then choose their new seats before the remaining available season tickets go on sale for the general public in April.

The Bombers have taken a page out of True North Sports and Entertainment’s book and set up a seven-level pricing platform that hopes to hit as many different price points as possible: from the most expensive P1 club seats ($1546 per year), to the affordable P7 sections in the 200-level ($196.95 per year). An alcohol-free family section will be set up in the south end zone, with season tickets for youths under the age of 15 priced at the same rate as the P7.
Worth noting is the absence of a dedicated student section, AKA “Section S” in the current stadium. Jeff Thompson, the corporate transition officer for the Winnipeg football club, explains that they’ve “priced the new stadium such that there is a price point for everybody, so that a student discount isn’t necessary.”
Thompson says it should become clear which sections are expected to be rowdier once the food and drink concessions locations are announced. The north end zone, opposite the decidedly less-rowdy family section, seems like it may fit that role, having a price point that is similar to the current student section.

Meanwhile, questions regarding how the Bisons will fit into the equation still remain. With the stadium being built on the University of Manitoba campus, it should come as no surprise that the Bisons are likely to be well represented in the aesthetic look of the stadium and turf. Looking at the Virtual Venue 3D model, however, only the Bombers are represented with logos and their name on the field. The Bisons will be likely be represented in a similar way as the Regina Rams and Calgary Dinos are represented at the venues they share with their city’s respective CFL franchise.

The Bombers plan to work hand in hand with the U of M Bisons football program, from both a ticketing and marketing standpoint, with the stadium expected to celebrate not only the Bombers’ rich history but the Bisons’ as well.
Ossama AbouZeid, the interim CEO with the club, was also on hand at the press conference to give an update on the stadium construction. He confirmed the project was still on schedule and budget, due in large part to the wonderfully warm and dry summer we experienced. The east side of the bowl, which has already started to emerge and take shape on the construction site, should be completed by November, with the erection of the bowl’s west side starting sometime in October.

“Maybe people in Winnipeg are dreaming of a white Christmas, but not me,” AbouZeid joked. “I’m really dreaming of a mild winter and a mild spring.”

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