Hellard welcomes 'Rider nation

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

Stampeders president Ted Hellard won't mind seeing green in the stands at McMahon Stadium tomorrow.

The more Saskatchewan Roughriders fans that scoop up the remaining tickets for the game against Calgary, the more green goes in the Stampeders' pockets.

"I welcome each and every Saskatchewan fan," said Hellard. "We have about 3,000 tickets left so there has to be enough 'Rider fans out there to fill it."

Traditionally, about a third of McMahon is covered in green when the Roughies come to town.

Hellard doesn't mind because the atmosphere in the stands is superb.

"It's great for the team and the CFL," Hellard said. "The 'Rider fans, outside of Regina, are the most vocal and boisterous as there is in this league.

"They come out no matter what and I give them credit for that. I admire their tenacity. I don't always agree with their online blog comments but, in terms of their tenacity, they should be really proud of themselves."

As of yesterday, the Stamps had sold about 32,500 tickets for the game and Hellard would be happy with a crowd of more than 34,000.

He said lower figures in West Division cities, including the 23,107 last weekend in Regina, are due in part to the great weather.

"It's been a hot summer and a lot of people are heading to the lake or heading somewhere to get cooled down," Hellard said. "They want to enjoy that part of the summer and I don't blame them."

SIGN OF TIMES: The contract extensions given to Joffrey Reynolds and Sandro DeAngelis should help the Stampeders once the salary-management system kicks in completely next season.

Stamps president Ted Hellard said locking those key players into set wages early will help the club avoid cap constraints in the long run.

"When the salary management system hits, it hits hard," Hellard said about the format he helped design.

"If you don't plan for it, it could hammer you.

"When a lot of players are in their option year, it creates havoc trying to deal with them. You don't know what you will sign them for."

NEW FACE: The Stamps didn't take long to replace released receiver Scotty Anderson. Ron Johnson was signed to the developmental roster yesterday.


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