The Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ home field is getting an address change in honour of the team’s 2019 Grey Cup win.
Chancellor Matheson Road, between Pembina Highway and University Crescent, is now Grey Cup Champions Way. The temporary designation will be in place for the next five years.
Mayor Brian Bowman, Winnipeg Football Club president Wade Miller and a handful of championship players unveiled the honorary sign during a blustery press conference outside the IG Field Friday morning.
"It’s being done to pay tribute to (the team), it’s to honour the fans and it’s to remind opposing teams, each and every time they come here for the next five years, who they’re about to play against," said Bowman, who was sporting a jacket bearing the Bombers’ logo.
The Bombers defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12 in the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary last weekend, ending a 29-year-long Canadian Football League championship drought.
The sign unveiled Friday, at the corner of Chancellor Matheson Road and Ken Ploen Way, is the first of five that will be installed along the street on the University of Manitoba campus. Each sign costs about $200, Bowman said.
The installation is just one of the ways the city and fans are celebrating the victory. An estimated 10,000 fans turned out for a downtown victory parade Tuesday. The team is also hosting a social for fans at the RBC Convention Centre Friday night. And fans are invited back to the convention centre Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to take photos with the Cup and get autographs from some current and former players.
Miller said it was an honour to have the streets outside the stadium renamed for the team. He thanked both the city and fans for their ongoing support.
"We’ll make sure that we find a way to keep that street name up more than five years," he said, adding he can’t wait to get business cards with the team's new address — 315 Grey Cup Champions Way — on them.
Running backs Andrew Harris and Brady Oliveira, wide receiver Nic Demski and offensive lineman Geoff Gray helped pull off a cloth to unveil the royal blue sign. The quartet grew up playing football in Winnipeg.
Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood) has also put forward motions to add street name topper signs in his ward to honour Oak Park High School alumni Harris and Demski.
Harris is the first Canadian player in league history to earn both the championship game’s most outstanding player and the most outstanding Canadian awards.
Klein has proposed Charleswood Road, between Betsworth and Rannock avenues be temporarily named Andrew Harris Way. As well, the councillor wants to temporarily call Rannock Avenue, between Charleswood Road and Bingham Drive, Nic Demski Way. Those designations would also remain for a period of five years.
The Assiniboia Community Committee is expected to vote on the motions during a Monday meeting. If passed, the committee will make recommendations to the city’s property and development committee.
Maggie Macintosh is a reporter who covers every beat in the newsroom. She appreciates alliteration, when newspaper ink stains her fingertips and, more importantly, tips on social and environmental equity issues.