There are two major questions hovering over tonight’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL regular season opener at Investors Group Field: What kind of team will the Bombers have in 2014 and how many fans will turn up at IGF to watch this season?
We’ll have to wait for the Bombers to take the field against the Toronto Argonauts in a couple of hours to find out the answer to the first question, but the answer to the second question has become clearer.
A team spokesman told the Free Press that as of 4 p.m. today the Bombers had sold 24,778 tickets to tonight’s home opener.
That’s about 2,000 tickets more than the 22,500-ticket plateau the team was at a week ago for tonight's game. And that number represents a walk-up of about 3,000 single-game ticket sales for a team that will head into 2014 with a season-ticket base of slightly more than 21,000.
The team averaged 30,637 fans per game in the Bombers' inaugural season at Investors Group Field in 2013 and tonight’s crowd — barring a dramatic 11th-hour rush at the box office — will be the most poorly attended Bombers game ever at the new stadium.
Until today, the worst-attended Bombers game at IGF was the final regular season game of 2013, when a crowd of 26,316 turned up to watch the Bombers finish a dreadful season at 3-15.
The previous two home openers for the Bombers have been sellouts.