Blue see green in Grey Cup

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are hoping that playing host to the 2006 Grey Cup will lay a solid financial foundation for the local CFL club's future.

But first, a significant amount of cash must be invested to upgrade the 52-year-old Canad Inns Stadium in time for the match, money that may be wasted should a new, covered facility be erected in the near future.

Not insurmountable

"The list is long but it's not insurmountable," Bombers president/CEO Lyle Bauer said at the unveiling of the new 2006 Grey Cup logo yesterday. "We do have some areas to improve like concessions and parking and media areas to make sure that it is a very good event.

"We have the worst visitors' dressing room in the country and we're going to change that, and make things more conducive for the attendees and the athletes that play here in ballpark."

Bauer, however, declined to estimate those expenses.

It will also cost $1-$1.5 million to add 15,000 temporary seats to increase the stadium's capacity to 45,000-46,000.

Aside from the snazzy logo, the Bombers announced ticket prices for the 2006 season, which will give purchasers first crack at buying the same seat for the Grey Cup Game. Those prices range from $85.31 to $523.80. Individual Cup ducats range from $93.85 to $335.85.

"The ticket prices are very, very competitive with the current (Grey Cup) game in Vancouver and very competitive with the Ottawa game (last year) but also recognizing the Winnipeg market place," Bauer said. So, pretty much everybody should be able to come to Canada's greatest party and Canada's greatest sporting event next year in Winnipeg."

Although the Bombers were only $200,000 short of erasing the club's deficit last year, Bauer did not know if the organization would be starting with a clean slate next season.

"It's going to be a very challenging year financially," he said.

But the Bombers could realize as much as $4 million from hosting the Cup.

"What this game can do, if successful -- and we have every plan to make it successful -- is to literally lay the foundation of the future of the club so it doesn't go back into the dark days," Bauer said, referring to the deficit that was $5.5 million just five years ago.

Meanwhile, the logo champions Canada, reflects the host province (Bison) and celebrates the host club with the selection of colours, said Brent Scrimshaw, CFL senior vice-president of marketing.


Videos

Photos