Winnipeg Blue Bombers season ticket holders flood Kijiji with ads for Grey Cup seats
With just over a week to go until the 103rd Grey Cup, Winnipeg Blue Bombers season ticket holder Mark Desjardins is among a number of Bombers fans eagerly trying to sell their seats.
"I wouldn't want to have not bought the tickets and then have somebody else sitting in my seats, watching the Winnipeg Blue Bombers win the Grey Cup. So I bought the season tickets thinking … if worse comes to worse and the Bombers don't make it, I could sell them quite easily," Desjardins said.
"The reason I'm not going to the Grey Cup is the Bombers didn't make it into the Grey Cup so I'm trying to sell these to hopefully one of the fans in the western side of the [country] that's interested in excellent seats for the Grey Cup, to see their team win."
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"I've had one response. I gave them the price and they didn't get back to me so I'm presuming it was either too much or they're still thinking about it. The price is $399 or $800 for the pair and that's what I paid for my tickets," he said.
"I'm hoping once the western final and the eastern final are done, there will be a greater chance of me getting a response."
Hamilton and Ottawa take to the field this Sunday for the eastern final. Calgary and Edmonton will face off in the west.
There are 34,858 seats for the Nov. 29 final at Investors Group Field.
That's down from the original plan of 40,000 seats, making it the smallest CFL championship since the 1970s.
The Bombers' season-ticket base is approximately 22,000. Fans were allowed to buy as many discounted Grey Cup seats as they wanted.
Performance of team 'depressed market'
However, there are currently 15 pages of Bombers fans, many of them season ticket holders, trying to unload their Grey Cup tickets on Kijiji.
Some of them are offering to sell below cost.
"From Winnipeg's standpoint, it would have been nice if Saskatchewan fans were the buyers because they're the closest and some of the most rabid, but I'm sure Edmonton and Calgary will generate ticket sales as well, if not Ottawa or Hamilton."
So far, there has been very little local buzz about the Grey Cup, something Simpson attributes to the Bombers' dismal record this season.
"It's important for the Bombers because they've got a stadium to pay off. It's important for the league every year to show off the league and it's unfortunate they happened to pick a year that the Bombers are not doing well and interest in the city is relatively low," Simpson said.
"I think it will still generate a fair amount of money for the city. There will still be a fair amount of participation in events. Even some of those seem a little pricey but I suspect Winnipeggers will respond. They like to party like most Canadians do."
Nissan Canada has donated 1,000 tickets so football players from 33 teams in the Winnipeg High School Football League will be able to attend.
Fall Out Boy will perform for the Nissan Titan Halftime Show.
Still, with a long range forecast of sunny and –8C, Mark Desjardins would rather watch the game somewhere warm.
"I hope to sell the tickets but if I don't, I'll be going to the game. In my parka," he said.