Bombers a hot seller

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Got Milt by-products?

Thanks mostly to the excitement created by Milt Stegall's pursuit of the CFL touchdown record, the Bomber Store has enjoyed gaga sales thus far this season.

And when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers sell out three straight home games, it certainly helps the souvenir-shop business.

"It's just been phenomenal," says Jeffrey Bannon, the Bomber Store manager.

"It's been really hard to keep up. The moon, the stars and the sun are aligning this season. I'm loving it and I haven't seen it like this in the 2 1/2 years I've been here.

"It's the best business the store has done ever. Things are just flying off the shelves."

Leading the way is anything related to Stegall. In fact, the store sold 600 Stegall bobblehead dolls at $19.99 apiece in just two days. Stegall hats have been sold out and there are Stegall T-shirts.

"It's tough to keep up," Bannon said. "This is the year of Milt." Fans, by the way, are being encouraged to wear their Stegall stuff to his tribute during a pre-game ceremony for Winnipeg's next home game against the Toronto Argonauts (Aug. 24).

But the best sellers are the headwear.

"This is a hat city," Bannon said. "And the vintage 1990's gear also goes very well."

Next to Stegall, the Charles Roberts-related merchandise is the most popular.

"And Kevin Glenn jerseys are really starting to sell," Bannon said, referring to the Winnipeg quarterback who is starting to gain acceptance among the Bomber faithful.

The store that is built into the football stadium is offering a special during this bye week just to thank its customers. Season ticket holders can get a free Blue Bombers optical mouse (valued at $19.99) for any purchase over $50. They can also choose between a free full-zip fleece or a crew sweater (valued at $54.98) for each purchase over $125. And they can get an added 20% off this week.

"The support from customers and the season ticket holders just blows my mind," Bannon said. "I wish I had a cut."

If this keeps up, the Bombers could rival the Saskatchewan Roughriders as the top souvenir sales shop in the CFL.

"We're trying but they're not Saskatchewan numbers just yet," Bannon said.

"Saskatchewan is the best in the league. If we do $1 million in top-line sales, they do $2 million."

If they enjoy a successful season, the Edmonton Eskimos are often second in souvenir sales but the Bombers may move into the place position this year.

REMINDER: Bomber season ticket holders are reminded that the deadline to redeem their voucher for a free ticket to the Never Alone Social on Sept. 2 is today. The social will include the Labour Day Classic between the Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders being shown live on the Jumbotron at Canad Inns Stadium. Those tickets are available to anyone else for $10 each.


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