There will be no shortage of drama tonight and every game night this season as your Winnipeg Blue Bombers say goodbye to their home of 50-plus years.

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This article was published 22/6/2011 (3863 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Opinion

There will be no shortage of drama tonight and every game night this season as your Winnipeg Blue Bombers say goodbye to their home of 50-plus years.

They're talking sellout for a pre-season game that will feature the announcement of a street named after Bombers legend Kenny Ploen.

It's going to be a fun and nostalgic year at the park even if the team doesn't hold up its end of the bargain.

Last year's 4-14 nightmare could be repeated, although I think the team will be much better and maybe even battle for a playoff spot.

It's going to be party at Canad Inns Stadium until they turn out the lights and the entertainment just may take second billing to the fans and their final nights at the old house.

Enjoy your time, folks.

Get a picture taken at your favourite trough. Look under your seat for beer snakes. They're not allowed out of their cages but they're still there.

Say hi to a legend. They'll be all over the place on a game-by-game basis. Be polite and ask nicely for autographs. They'll sign.

Get a copy of Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball, a song he wrote and played at his final concert at Giants Stadium. It'll get you in the mood to scream and shout and maybe even tear up a little.

The new stadium will be beautiful and modern and clean. But it won't have any ghosts to wake up. So do your part and give the spirit of the stadium one last rattle. Maybe it'll follow us across town if we show it a good enough time.

Here's our five storylines to watch tonight.

Bringing down the house: As of late Wednesday there were close to 28,000 tickets already sold and there was a real possibility of a sellout. Fans will be the star of the show this season unless the team can move them offstage. That'll take more than four wins, I can tell you that.

Drinking in the atmosphere will be a major component of this season's parade of tradition.

The next Canuck: There's been a long history of great Canadian receivers in Winnipeg with Rick House, Joe Poplawski and Gerald Wilcox all household names during their time on the field. But there's been a bit of a drought and fans are hoping Kito Poblah can end it. Poblah is fighting for a starting spot and Bombers insiders say he has the speed, skills and intellect to be a star. Poblah has yet to catch a regular-season pass but there's a buzz around him and Winnipeggers will get their first look at him tonight.

Who's the man? Import tackles Kelly Butler and Glenn January are battling for a starting spot on the offensive line. The winner gets a gig and a paycheque and the loser... sorry, no steak knives, but straight to the unemployment line.

To rest or not: The Bombers are looking for ways to give Jovon Johnson a bit of a rest and that may mean removing him from most special teams situations.

The question is, will resting Johnson make him better on defence or take some spark from his game? He's Winnipeg's best player and having him on the field is never a bad idea. Is this a case of less is more or fixing something that isn't broken? Stay tuned.

Does a walkthrough matter? The Toronto Argonauts made the curious decision not to travel to Winnipeg on Wednesday and will roll into town this afternoon a few hours prior to game time.

This is strictly small-time. The league must enforce its media availability policy. Sorry, but this is bush.

The Argos owe more to their league partners and so does the head office. The $10K or so Toronto saved by travelling on game day isn't worth the embarrassment it causes. The Bombers get a pass on this, but the Argos and the commissioner's office look shabby. Step up and fix this, commish.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca