CFL

New Blue Bombers stadium won't be ready for opener

Winnipeg's new football stadium will not be ready for the Blue Bombers' July 26, 2012 season home opener as planned, according to a report from Global News.
The Banjo Bowl is typically played in Winnipeg the Sunday after the Labour Day weekend, which this year would fall on Sept. 9. (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Winnipeg's new football stadium will not be ready for the Blue Bombers' July 26, 2012 season home opener as planned, according to a report from Global News.

The CFL club's officials are remaining tight lipped about construction delays, but Winnipeg's mayor says he's been told the new 33,000 seat facility at the University of Manitoba won't be ready for its first kickoff until September at the earliest.

"My understanding from a meeting with the CEO and the President of the club is that I think they've publicly announced the Banjo Bowl on Labour Day on the long weekend and that's when they've told me they will be opening and they'll be having some trial runs at the facility to make sure everything is operational," Mayor Sam Katz told Global News on Friday.

The Banjo Bowl is typically played in Winnipeg the Sunday after the Labour Day weekend, which this year would fall on Sept. 9.

The Bombers have not publicly announced that Investors Group Field won't open until September. The club last announced the facility would be ready for the team's regular season home opener July 26th and later acknowledged a backup plan also exists to play regular season games at the old Canad Inns stadium at Polo Park. But team officials Friday refused to be answer questions about a date in September or later.

"The reality is, there are numerous rumours that surround the stadium's construction. I will not comment on any of these. I prefer to deal with real facts at this point. It is for that reason; we will stick with our plan to inform the media and our fans, on or around May 1st as to what the update will be," Blue Bombers President and CEO Garth Buchko said in an email to Global News.

The stadium is to cost $190 million with the province putting up most of the money and the club expected to pay back $85 million.

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