Fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will now have to pay to get to games this season.
The local CFL club announced this morning that football and concert ticket-holders wanting to take Winnipeg Transit to get to Investors Group Field will have to pay the regular transit fare. The Bombers say they will cover the cost of the fare for the ride home.
"To make things as easy as possible for fans," Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller said in a statement, "all regular and augmented transit routes will remain just as they were during the inaugural year. The only difference is that fans will be asked to buy a one-way ticket, at $2.55, to get to the game with the club paying for the return fare."
The club is also asking for fans to chip in to help subsidize the park-and-ride program.
Miller indicated that a $5 fee will be charged for those fans looking to access the program. Season-long park-and-ride passes can be purchased for $40 through Ticketmaster.
The park-and-ride service will include the same eight routes as last year, with service starting two hours before kickoff. The Bombers are making the service free for the first preseason game against the Toronto Argonauts on Monday.
Approximately 130 school buses will be used for the park-and-ride program.
Last month, the city pulled a Transit proposal off the table that would have seen the club receive a discounted rate. The proposal saw the city offer the Bombers Transit subsidies worth approximately $650,000 this year.
In 2013, the city charged the football club $1.1 million, or about $11 per person, to transport fans to and from events at Investors Group Field. The city intended to increase that to $1.25 million, or about $12.50 per person, this year.
Last year, an average of 10,000 ticket-holders took buses to events at Investors Group Field. Approximately 4,000 people took buses on game day at Canad Inns Stadium.