WINNIPEG — They are the diehards, the true faithful and 300 of them were in full force for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers annual Fan Forum Wednesday night at Canad Inns Stadium.

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This article was published 7/4/2010 (4464 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WINNIPEG — They are the diehards, the true faithful and 300 of them were in full force for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers annual Fan Forum Wednesday night at Canad Inns Stadium.

And with the new regime working to quickly put the disaster of 2009 in the rear-view mirror, there were subsequently no rants from the fans about last season’s disappointing 7-11 season.

Instead, the focus was on 2010 and beyond as the club unveiled plans to step-up its game-day fan experience this year – the 80th for the franchise – as a bridge toward the new facility scheduled to open in 2012 at the University of Manitoba.

It was revealed at the Fan Forum that the sod-turning for the new facility will be May 20th with construction to start the next day and a tentative completion date of March 1st, 2012.

Incoming chairperson of the Bomber board Bill Watchorn announced that with Ken Hildahl, Paul Robson, Joe Poplawski and Bruce Robinson would be leaving the board and will be replaced immediately by three new members, including Bob Cameron and Trevor Kennerd.

Some 35 of the team’s alumni were in attendance along with current staff and players. The loudest ovation came for legend Ken Ploen, who received a standing ovation, followed by new head coach Paul LaPolice and Vice President and GM of Football Operations Joe Mack.

The Bomber brass fielded just one question from the fans about the team’s 2009 financial statement – they revealed a $1.2 million loss on operations earlier Wednesday —- and, not surprisingly, were also pressed about contract discussions with free-agent quarterback Buck Pierce.

"I don’t want to get into negotiations in the media because that can be counter-productive," said Mack afterward. "I will tell you that there’s nothing we have to announce right now and there’s nothing imminent. Could something change? Sure. But at this point it’s an ongoing process.

"I do think with regards to the quarterback situation we’re going to bring certain aspects to a focal point within the next week to 10 days. I don’t see any reason to have it drag on for too long. They and we probably need to say, ‘Where is this process evolving? And if it’s not going to work out then do we to start to look in another direction.’"

CFL training camps open June 6th with the Bombers opening the 2010 season July 2nd at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca