Blue Bombers new stadium won't open until 2013

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers won't move into Investors Group Field this year.
Construction of Investors Group Field has been hampered by delays. (CBC)

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers won't move into Investors Group Field this year.

The team announced on Friday that due to continued weather-related delays in the construction progress of the new stadium, the team will play the entire 2012 CFL season at Canad Inns Stadium.

Investors Group Field host its first game at the beginning of the 2013 CFL season.

"It is with great disappointment that we are making this announcement today, however we feel it is in the best interest of our fans, sponsors and entire organization to come to this decision, " team president and CEO Garth Buchko said in a statement released on Friday.

"The reality is that unpredictable weather at a critical stage of construction has made it difficult to pin down the ultimate completion date.

"Endeavoring to accelerate work to overcome weather disruptions, beyond what is reasonable and safe, will only create further delays along the way, potentially compromising worker safety and the ultimate fan experience.

"To open Investors Group Field prior to a state of total completion would not be fair to our fans as their first experience must be a positive one. The citizens of our city and province have waited a long time for a new stadium and it will be well worth the wait to have it opened properly.

"This decision will most importantly provide stability and certainty for our loyal and passionate fans, the football team and the entire Blue Bomber organization."

Investors Group Field, being built near the University of Manitoba in south Winnipeg, will replace Canad Inns Stadium as the Bombers' home when it is completed.

But that completion date has been a large question mark plaguing the team, which first hoped to have it ready in time for the July 26 home opener.

But last month they said delays in construction pushed the opening back to Sept. 21 at the latest, though they were still hoping they might be able to host the Sept. 9 match against the Saskatchewan Roughriders — the so-called Banjo Bowl.