Hundreds attend Stamps camp!

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Football fans by the hundreds filled their bellies and the seats of McMahon Stadium to share first day of training camp with their beloved Calgary Stampeders.

Some 600 supporters strong, including Stamps season-ticket holder Andrew Major, thought the team’s inaugural practice open to the public — and barbecue to boot — was a great kickoff to the 2006 CFL season.

“It’s great to be here,? said Major, who brought his wife and two young daughters to the practice and picnic Sunday morning.

“It’s a beautiful day, I’m always eager to see what’s new with the team, and the barbecue appeals to the kids.?

Fueling the football fire of fans, especially families, is exactly the aim of the Stampeders, said team president Ted Hellard.

So the organization figured what better time to bring them in then during training camp and feed them hot dogs, smokies, potato chips plus the promise of a successful season.

“Everything we’re trying to do revolves around engaging the fan to get to know the players,? Hellard said.

“It’s really important to us that we get out into the city — we try to do it year-round.?

On this day, Calgarians such as Majors came to them and gave a thumbs-up to what they witnessed on the practice field.

“A few guys looked a little out of shape, but with the names and talent we have, it should be a good season,? Major said.

“I am excited about it.?

In between bites of his hot dog, fellow fan Gene Venini cheered the thought of a Grey Cup campaign.

“The team looks pretty good — it’s nice to see a contender,? Venini said.

“I’m excited to see a guy like David Allen coming back.?

Other fan favourites such as quarterback Henry Burris and runningback Joffrey Reynolds stopped between practice and meetings to chat and sign autographs, which thrilled the likes of faithful followers such as 11-year-old Chet Cornwall.

“Getting their autographs and watching them practice and goof around on the field is the best part,? said Cornwall, who was pleased to get an in-person invitation from Sheldon Napastuk when the defensive lineman attended his school for an anti-bullying seminar.

The second practise had just as many as well.

Sweet news ... that's awesome! What time of day are the practices at, again? I thought the second one was at 3:30, but when I was there Wednesday afternoon at that time (to pick up my tix), the field was empty ...

That's good on know, everyone there probably thinks that they are watching a Grey Cup champion team in the making, and they have good reason to think so.

hope that their playoff attendance is better than last season if they place 2nd or 1st.

me too … I was really disappointed at our playoff attendance. Maybe blacking the games out does do something … but I don’t like the thought of blacking out playoff games.

STAMPEDERS 2006 TRAINING CAMP

Wednesday, May 24th 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
1st practice

Wednesday, May 24th 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM
2nd practice

Thursday, May 25th 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
1st practice

Thursday, May 25th 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM
2nd practice

Friday, May 26th 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
1st practice

Friday, May 26th 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM
2nd practice

Saturday, May 27th 08:00 AM - 09:30 AM
1st practice

Saturday, May 27th 09:45 AM - 11:25 AM
Mock Game