Could be some sporting spinoffs

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

Most Manitoba football fans would rejoice if a new stadium is built at Red River Exhibition Park.

Fans of other sports might end up having a ball as well.

If the stadium allows for it, Winnipeg could possibly become a home for lacrosse or even arena football. That's because stadium's main tenant -- the Winnipeg Blue Bombers -- would want year-round action in the facility.

"Our intent would be to look at all of those types of opportunities," Winnipeg Football Club board of directors chairman Gene Dunn said yesterday. "The lacrosse one was one that we were very interested in, but we wanted to sit back and look at the league and see how the league progressed before we made any investment in it.

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES

"But there may be other opportunities that we would be interested in. We certainly would want to find a use for more days at the facility. And that would be the objective."

Red River Ex CEO Paul Robson even threw in NASCAR as a possibility. The exhibition grounds have hosted CASCAR -- a distant relative of NASCAR -- and all parties involved in the venture would want more attractions than just a football stadium, hotel and water park.

Meanwhile, a big benefactor of a new complex would be the Red River Ex's neighbour -- the Assiniboia Downs horse track.

"Traffic comes out here, it may have some benefit to us," Manitoba Jockey Club president Harvey Warner said.

LAST WORD: Bombers placekicker Troy Westwood, who hopes to still be with the team in a few years, would miss the windy and cold confines of Canad Inns Stadium if the team moves to a new climate-friendly field.

"I'll tell you what, man, I'd rather have it the way it is," Westwood said. "When the elements are ugly, it always weighs in our favour."


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