Thursday night marked a big and much-needed win for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers football club.

The team is coming off a dismal two seasons, with a 3-15 record in 2013 and 9-27 over the past two years.

But Thursday night the team posted a 45-21 win over the Toronto Argonauts in their regular season home opener — the first step in winning back fans, CEO Wade Miller said.


Aaron Kelly, left, and Drew Willy of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers whoop it up after scoring a touchdown in a 45-21 rout of the Argonauts Thursday night. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

“We have a long ways to go and last night was a first step to that, and we want to see all of our fans out at Investors Group Field,” said Miller.

The team has seen a 13 per cent loss in season ticket sales, and on Thursday drew a crowd of only about 25,000 for a stadium that can seat 33,000.

“Last week of June — lots of competing events going on, so that was a big part of it,” said Miller. “I think you’ll see a lot of our fans for the next game and going forward.”

New quarterback Drew Willy set a high bar for himself going forward, throwing for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns.

Willy is part of a revamped roster the Bombers are hoping will help turn things around for the team. With 17 games to go, the team will have to sustain their momentum for quite a while to turn things around.

“Hopefully they can keep it up for the rest of the season. They gave the fans a lot to cheer about,” said fan Mike Borger.

Next up, the Bombers will take on the Ottawa Redblacks at Investors Group Field on July 3.