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More buses, more police, more parking help: Bombers game-day plan

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The Winnipeg Football Club plans to order up more than a quarter of Winnipeg Transit's fleet, hire additional police officers and double the number of parking lot signs and attendants to improve access to Investors Group Field on Bomber game days.

A new football event-day plan announced by football club chief operations officer Jim Bell calls for transit service capable of moving 10,000 to 12,000 people to and from the new stadium on the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus on June 27, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' first CFL regular-season game in their $200-million new home.

That's up from the plan to serve 5,200 transit passengers at the club's June 12 exhibition game, which was marred by traffic congestion, transit delays and a lack of transit capacity. Approximately 8,500 fans took transit to and from the game on June 12.

To prevent transit buses for queueing up in long lines, temporary diamond lanes will be created along University Crescent and Bishop Grandin Boulevard, said Winnipeg Transit director Dave Wardrop.

Police officers stationed at the intersection of University Crescent and Pembina Highway will ensure buses have priority access to the U of M campus, he added.

A total of eight to 10 police will help direct traffic before and after each game, Bell said.

Traffic flow on University Crescent and Chancellor Matheson Road has also been amended for game days.

The Bombers will also pay for additional transit service that will include more park-and-ride transit buses and extra buses on the University Super Express 161 route.

A total of 150 buses will be employed before and after the game, Wardrop said. Winnipeg Transit has 565 buses in its fleet.

The Bombers are doubling the number of parking attendants and parking signs at club-controlled parking lots. Fans will be asked to display parking passes on their rear-view mirrors to speed traffic through the campus.

All fans are being asked to take their seats by 7:15 p.m. on June 27 because a nationally broadcast venue-opening ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. The kickoff for the home opener is at 8 p.m.

The club has also added more off-campus parking lots to its "booster" program, Bell said. A list of locations has been posted to investorsgroupfield.ca/bluebombers.

Bell said he has yet to determine the cost of the additional event-day services. He said he and 23 other officials from the club, the city, the university and concert promoter True North Sports & Entertainment have been focused on fixing the transportation and parking plan.

The new football event-day plan is separate from a concert event-day plan that will be utilized at Saturday's Taylor Swift concert, Bell said.

Lessons from the Swift show may inform decisions made about the Aug. 12 Paul McCartney concert at the venue, he said.

History

Updated on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:27 PM CDT: Adds details of new plan.

3:46 PM: Clarifies section on park-and-ride buses.

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