Blue Bomber Report Record: 4–1–0

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Former Bomber greats wow fans in pre-game ceremony

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Former Blue Bomber great Milt Stegall runs through a gold ribbon after catching a pass from Matt Dunigan to officially open the Investors Group Field and the CFL regular season Thursday night.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Former Blue Bomber great Milt Stegall runs through a gold ribbon after catching a pass from Matt Dunigan to officially open the Investors Group Field and the CFL regular season Thursday night. Photo Store

Investors Group Field has been done up right by the dignitaries and legendary players.

And soon it will be up to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes to really christen the place.

A half hour pre-game show to open the new football facility in south Winnipeg Thursday night, co-hosted by Chris Walby — one of the greatest to ever wear Bomber colours — and Laura Lussier, was capped by a very cool moment for the club’s long faithful:

Legendary receiver Milt Stegall catching a perfect spiral from Matt Dunigan and then racing to midfield to bust through a gold ribbon.

The opening ceremonies featured all the usual pomp and circumstance, including a historical video montage accompanied by the University of Manitoba orchestra and bag pipes, and some of the folks instrumental in getting the facility built like David Asper and Mayor Sam Katz. There was a video message from former Bomber head coach Mike Riley from his office at Oregon State and a number of ex-players, including Lyle Bauer, James Murphy, Bob Cameron, Trevor Kennerd, Paul Bennett, Brett MacNeil, Rod Hill, Paul Robson and Pepe Latourelle were all on hand at centre field, along with Canadian Football League commissioner Mark Cohon.

The loudest cheers came with Ken Ploen, wearing his old No. 11, entered the stadium with the game ball, capping up the Kickoff Run that weaved through the province and for Stegall, who had the place hopping as he bounded down the field in full uniform.

And, predictably, the Montreal Alouettes received a chorus of boos as the entered the stadium.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Bomber fans make some last-minute purchases at the Bomber Store at Investors Group Field before the game starts.

History

Updated on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 8:41 PM CDT: adds photo

9:01 PM: adds slideshow

9:06 PM: Fixed photo caption

June 28, 2013 at 8:05 AM: Added Brett MacNei, removed Wade Miller.

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