Call to ban smoking at Bombers stadium

PAUL TURENNE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:55 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Should smoking be allowed at Winnipeg’s new football stadium when it opens?

Murray Gibson, executive director of the Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance, doesn’t think so.

“It’s a health issue but it’s also about setting an example,” he said. “All public outdoor gathering places should be smoke-free.”

Gibson said he’s tried to encourage the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to outlaw game-day smoking in the past and will continue to when the football club moves to its new home.

Fans are currently allowed to smoke in designated areas at Bomber games at Canad Inns Stadium, including near the Rum Hut, close to Gate 3, near Sec. A, and other open-air areas, said Darren Cameron, a spokesman for the Bombers.

“There have been no discussions to date to my knowledge as to policy in the new stadium,” he said.

Leah Janzen, a spokeswoman for the University of Manitoba, where the new stadium will be located, said U of M brass have also yet to discuss smoking policy for the facility, which it will jointly own with the team and the city.

Gibson suggested we should take the new stadium’s opening as an opportunity to follow what Regina has done, where fans at Roughriders’ games have had to leave the stadium completely to smoke for the past seven years thanks to a city regulation.

Roughriders spokesman Ryan Whippler said there were some problems with the policy when it was first implemented, but they are few and far between now.

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, who also owns the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team, said he will not ask the Bombers to implement any particular smoking policy, but noted people must leave the park to smoke at Goldeyes games.

“Speaking as someone who happens to run a stadium and operate it, that was one of the first things we did,” he said.


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