August 30, 2015


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Blue Bomber Report

Former Bomber greats wow fans in pre-game ceremony

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.

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

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

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

A Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan gets a string of blue beads on the way in to Investors Group Field. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Colby Wieby, 4, gets a temporary tattoo outside Investors Group Field. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Winnipeggers arrive  at Investors Group Field in droves. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Families and friends gather outside of Investors Group Field. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
There was loads of entertainment for Winnipeggers outside Investors Group Field. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
(Right) Bike valet Bill Newman takes care of fans' bikes as Winnipeggers arrive at Investors Group Field. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Winnipeggers Terry Crawford biked with son Aiden to Investors Group Field. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Winnipeggers enter the gates at Investors Group Field. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Bomber fans make some last-minute purchases at the Bomber Store at Investors Group Field before the game starts. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Fans twirl white towels to welcome the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the season opener. (Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press)
A miniature airplane buzzes on the turf before kickoff at Investors Group Field. (Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press)
A C-130 Hercules aircraft flies over Investors Group Field. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Milt Stegall gets the handoff from Ken Ploen in the pre-game ceremony. (John Woods / The Canadian Press)
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)
A Canadian Forces C130 Hercules does a fly-by during Oh Canada. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Bomber fans stream in to the new stadium before the regular-season home opener against the Montreal Alouettes. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Investors Group field is seen from the air prior to kickoff. (Boris Minkevichh / Winnipeg Free Press)
Another view of Investors Group Field from the air prior to kickoff Thursday night. (Boris Minkevich / Winnipeg Free Press)
Fans get ready to watch the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' regular-season opener against the Montreal Alouettes Thursday night. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
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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