I don't know if their fans would like to be congratulated but I definitely get where you're coming from. Things have been dire in Winnipeg last few years and it has sucked to see the attendance dropping, but not that you can blame the fans I wouldn't go either. Happy to see the Bombers playing some very respectable football and actually in the playoff hunt heading into the Banjo Bowl, glad to hear it is going to be a packed house for the game.
Getting SRO status is truly amazing - after all the barfing the blue bombers did on and off the field last 5 or 6 years.
I'm curious to find out if Wad Miller's tinkering with Grey Cup capacity last year was permanent. (ie. did Wad trim capacity off the 33,500 to a lower number or is that still the capacity?)
I'm sure Miller would prefer a capacity of around 29,000 to 30,000 as 33.5k has a nasty habit of not creating a furor of ticket demand (either too many season tix left or too many walk-ups which doesn't generate demand like they want)
Obviously a sell out is nice and the two most pleased performers are Miller and the newly installed Manitoba Premier (Pally Pallister) . . . . cuz a ton of Manitobans dread the day where Miller has to walk cap in hand into the legislature to ask for a fresh slate of loans and grants when current monies start drying up. Obviously if the bombers get into any kind of financial turmoil the first victim is the 4 to 4.5 million annual mortage repayment but most observers and even some financial experts thought this was basically a short-term magic trick or diversion to grab nearly 200 million (and counting) of public monies.
However, if the bombers fall flat again (they're not that good to be sure) and season tickets drop from 19,000 to 16,500 (the lemming factor is approx. 16 to 17k) and walk ups continue to struggle the bombers will be in financial turmoil within 2 years. Easy for Miller and Palestine to defer the mortage (defer is a politically correct word for cancelling) and then hope against hope the bombers can trudge on without a further injection of operating monies.
Remember, in Winnipeg the term 'Community-owned' is just a smokescreen descriptor. This team is run by a private club of jock-sniffers, knife-n-forkers and fat egos; nothing more, nothing less. These folks show up at the dinners and player banquets but haven't put a penny of private money into the organization since inception.
The problem, (at least to me) isn't that the team-runners won't be deferring their mortage or coming cap-in-hand to the premier's office - its the relative ease by which they receive these bars of gold. . . . . . and Miller would add to the premier "You want a 300 million white elephant stadium hosting 4 bison games/yr with 1500 attending plus a couple of Billy Graham, Jr. concerts?"
Trouble is private ownership of the bombers is NOT AN OPTION. Guys like Dizzy David Asper slithered away when push came to shove - they know you can't pay for a stadium, fund team operations and generate a profit. There are no David Braleys, Bob Youngs or Bobby Wettenhalls in Winnipeg. Just some of the greediest businesspeople on the face of the planet.
I was going to add this. Hamilton had some of their best attendance years in the 2000s with a god awful product on the field in a dump of a stadium (although we loved it), but the boost can be attributed to Bob Young taking over and the huge bounce back year in 2004.
After 2006 it started to dwindle down to about 20,000-23,000 per game, but Hamilton certainly didn't abandon the team, if you look at the numbers it's very similar to the Bombers situation right now except they had the benefit of a brand new stadium to hold the community interest for a little bit longer and just like the Cats, I am sure the random 2012 Grey Cup run helped as well.
...Lyle...Lyle ...Lyle....I've been kicking around the Peg for as long as you...maybe longer...You know that the stadium will never fail...Even Palister is not that dumb that he would let it deep six.. As sure as the 'house that Jack built' stood for decades so will IGF...It's just in the Peggers blood...I agree that Asper bailed but there are other shrewd business types like True North's Chipman who would step up ...So don't send up any premature S.O.S's .. or let the Lyle Bauer paranoia set in...This club has turned the corner and will be in for a few lucrative seasons....so don't go all negative Nellie on us...
The Blue Bombers are and always have been community owned. The BOD does not own the team so the community then has to. The BOD is, and always has been volunteer and the members, much as you seem to hate them, have given thousands and thousands of hours of time and resources to the club and the community for well over a half a century. Beyond the season tickets they probably buy themselves, why would you expect them to inject any "private money" into the club?
You may not like them, and that's your right, but get your story straight. Take two seconds to review the BOD on the Bomber website and you'll find business leaders from many sectors, three women, an ex Bomber and a rep from the City. I don't know any of them personally as I moved away from the 'peg many years ago but if I was ever introduced to one of them the first thing I'd do is thank them for their service to Winnipeg and to football. Same goes for any of the other Community owned teams.
Of course, they have. In my regular daily travails I run into fans from 25 to 90; that's truly amazing. One of the main reasons I'm on sites like this is the CFL is one of the few things that connects me with my roots. This is probably true for the majority of fans over 50.
Well at least Mack gets a game named after him - The Ban Joe Mack Bowl . . . . j/k
Seriously, Joe Mack was a guy whose only skill was stirring the cream into his coffee.
But in the spirit of honesty and transparency I should point out that it was a former bomber GM (a greedy bastage/coot named Paul Robson) who came out of his urn to advise the bombers to hire Joe Mack when Lyle Bauer was caught up in the Mike Kelly shyte-storm. The so-called community board of directors signed off on this move - also the appointment of radio-time salesman Garth Buchko as President/CEO.
These two moves stalled all progress the bombers were making - in fact some say it set back the entire organization by approximately a decade. The organization was forced to hire a rather unseemly local businessman (Miller) as its CEO and a green former ST coach and Joe Mack's errand boy (Walters) as GM plus a head coach who had never even been a coordinator or position coach (O'Shea). They threw tons of money at a fraud QB in Willy but somehow have managed to stubborn things out and put together a decent mid-card CFL organization - albeit heavily government funded.
Ideally, in 3 to 5 years, the Wpg Jet owners (Mark Chipman and Mr. Thompson from Toronto) will take a serious look at picking up the team and the stadium from the community run board and their primary funder (Government of Manitoba)
Wade Miller came in to an absolute mess and has righted the ship, as much as possible.He is constantly visiting season ticket holders before the game and asking how things are . People wanted the Banjo moved to Saturday from Sunday and it happened. He also has embraced the tailgate,he used to tailgate at the old stadium as a fan . As long as the booze is in a red cup, it's all good.......and not shooting fireworks off, naked! :roll: :roll: :cowboy:
Miller has applied some basic business/marketing principles to restore order in bomberland. Visiting with fans, taking fan & community pulse, trying to solve the transport problem to bomber games, and even doing something w/ Banjo Bowl in terms of moving it to Saturday afternoon.
The old bomber regimes were phlegm-full of lip service. Listen, Miller delivers lip service as well as anyone - but he actually initiates change - and most of it is positive.
As far as Mr. Chips and Dave Thompson taking control of the team - that's pretty alien thinking right now. I emphasize RIGHT NOW.
The Bombers are actually doing well operating in the shadow of a major sports franchise next door (Wpg. Jets). Miller has learned many lessons from the Jets - mostly in terms of message control and breaching leaks within his organization. The Jets run an air-tight ship - while in past years loose lips sink ships has been the bombers m.o.
No question True North has the coin to plunk down on the table and turn the Jets from "Community-owned" to "Private". I'm a community guy but the secrecy that's tainted the bomber board and thus the entire organization is awful. My theory is a private organization would do better with the bombers - and would actually be slightly more open than status quo.
The elephant in the room as far as transferring ownership is IGF Stadium. That's a 240 to 280 million dollar asset that's used for 9 bomber games, 1 training camp and 4 or 5 bison games a year. . . . . very expensive practice facility. Built on a veritable island - no real community surrounds it other than the U of M and kids 17 to 28 really have little interest in the bombers. More interest from some of the faculty and staff when it comes down to it.
So the real question is after True North Sports & Entertainment pick up the team for $10 to $15 million (the interesting question is who gets the money) the other matter is who owns IGF? Probably the govt. retains primary interest and True North negotiates a payment schedule that makes them the surrogate landlord (for rock concerts, car shows, religious revivals, etc.)
Makes sense for True North to run the entirety of pro sports ops in Manitoba - savings in synthesizing marketing efforts, administration, accounting, etc.
Plus the Chipman has proven a fairly trustworthy steward of the Jets - albeit the Jets tend to mope as a semi-competitive but mostly non-playoff team. They sellout almost every game - regardless of opponent in a 15,300 downtown facility.