Winnipeg security among best

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:10 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have no plans to increase security in the wake of a vicious attack during last week's pre-season game at Canad Inns Stadium.

Shirlee Pretau, the Bombers vice-president of facility and event operations, said the team already has one of the tightest security forces in the CFL.

"Compared to the other CFL teams and facilities across Canada, we're in the top two with the ratio of security, police and event staff to fans," Pretau said yesterday.

There is one Impact Security guard, police officer or in-house security officer for every 140 fans, Pretau said. The club increases the number of security personnel for highly attended contests, like the ones against the rival Saskatchewan Roughriders or weekend night games, she added.

"Our incidents have been reduced in the last five years by about 25% with the extra police and the extra security that we've put on, and the extra measures we've put in place," Pretau said.

Despite those figures, a fan suffered a broken jaw during an altercation over a plastic souvenir cup at last Thursday's pre-season game between the Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Two men were arrested.

The injured man's friend told Sun Media it took 10 minutes for security officers to arrive on the scene, but Pretau said yesterday it took "less than a minute."

Regardless, the ugly incident highlights the need for the Soup to Nuts fan program, which the club unveiled yesterday. Spectators can call 788-HELP (4357) during Bomber games for anything they may need, from finding out where the nearest bathroom is to letting security know about unruly fans.

Every fan attending the team's home opener on July 5 will receive a ticket with the help line number on it.

IN OTHER NEWS: The Bombers announced yesterday that the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will perform the national anthem and again at half-time of their home opener on July 5 ... The Blue and Gold are also going green. The team will start using biodegradable cups at their games and also place recycling bins throughout the stadium. The fan who does his or her best to protect the environment will be named the "recycler of the game."


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