Football season has been underway in Canada for several months now, as it started up in June and runs through November, culminating with the Grey Cup championship – Canada’s single largest annual sporting event. The nine teams in the CFL are divided into two divisions, the East Division with four teams, and the West Division with five. Winnipeg’s own Blue Bombers are in the West Division, and just two years ago began playing at their brand new stadium, Investors Group Field.
Investors Group Field & Winnipeg Blue Bombers History
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have been a team since 1930, when they were known as the Winnipeg Football Club (still their legal name today). Their last Grey Cup championship was in 1990, which was their third championship win total. This means they have the third-highest win total in the Grey Cup among both teams still active today and those that have disbanded. They played in the Grey Cup a total of 21 times throughout their history, and the Blue Bombers are known to have one of the most loyal fan bases in the Canadian Football league.
The Blue Bombers originally hosted their games at Osborne Stadium, then for the next almost fifty years at Canad Inns Stadium, known as Winnipeg Stadium before the year 2000. In 2013, they began their season officially at the brand new Investors Group Field, located on the campus of the University of Manitoba.
The new stadium seats 33,500 fans and is currently the largest canopied structure in all of Canada. The canopies give the stadium its distinctive look, while also providing shelter from rain, snow and sun alike. It was actually supposed to be ready for the start of the 2012 season, however, construction delays kept it from opening until the 2013 season.
The first event was held on May 26, 2013, which was the One Heart Winnipeg celebration, a multi-denominational church service organized by several local church groups. The Blue Bombers played their first game on June 27, 2013 against the Montreal Alouettes. Unfortunately, they lost.
Since it’s opening, the stadium hosts not only Winnipeg football games but also several Winnipeg activities and events. The first year Investors Group Field was open, it hosted concerts by Taylor Swift and Paul McCartney, and later, Beyonce’ and Jay-Z’s combined tour played the stadium- the only other stop in Canada for this tour besides Toronto. It also hosted other major events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup in June 2015.
This year, AC/DC is playing Investors Group Field on September 17th (did you get your tickets?), and the 103rd Grey Cup Championship will also be held at the stadium on November 29th, 2015. Winnipeg hasn’t hosted the Grey Cup since 2006.
Have you been to Investors Group Field yet? What did you think of this new, state of the art facility?