Success begins at the top!

Stampeder owners and fans take a bow!

The Calgary Stampeders are scoring points in all phases of the team's revival, according to team president Ted Hellard.

Hellard said yesterday the on-field product, fan support and business involvement are moving along at a remarkable clip just one-third of the way through the 2005 CFL season.

"As a newcomer at this, without a lot of experience, I don't know if I had a real educated vision but I would say we're significantly ahead of where I thought we'd be," said Hellard.

Hellard teamed with John Forzani and Doug Mitchell in January to head a group of local businessmen that bought the team from Michael Feterik.

Hellard was appointed president, Darrell Moir took on the title of senior vice-president of club operations and former president Stan Schwartz returned as executive VP. The Calgary Flames also jumped on board and has taken control of McMahon's concessions.

"There's three big categories," Hellard said. "Business-wise, we couldn't be further ahead. Our crowds are excellent, our relationship with the Flames is getting better and better in the concession area. Our corporate sponsorship is up significantly and our management people (Schwartz and Moir) are just doing a hell of a job running this thing.

"When it comes to football, obviously I'm happy with our record. It is a good start for us, all things considered. But more important than that, I really like the players. These are quality people which is important for the community and it's important when we're trying to re-sign players to long-term contracts. We've pretty much signed 90 percent of our core group, so we've been able to get that done a year-and-a-half ahead of when their free agency would have come up, so we're so far ahead of where I thought we'd be.

"It's still going to be a topsy-turvy season. We don't know what's going to happen but I think we're very happy with what we've been able to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time."

Attendance through four home games has averaged more than 30,000 fans while the team is making a bid for a West Division playoff spot just seven games into the season.

The Stampeders also entered the year with one of the CFL's strongest season ticket bases at just under 21,000.

That wave of support came in the wake of a string of off-season free-agent signings, highlighted by the addition of QB Henry Burris and receiver Jeremaine Copeland.

Dan Toth of the Calgary Sun

..........awesome.........we have some quality years ahead of us after the depression we just came through.........

R&W it sure has come full circle from the box king. You have to give F Troop some credit he kept us going until a good ownership group could be put together. If anything the last 3 years was good for a laugh and makes Stamp fans realize that you need top owners, top management and then it works down from there.

Stampeder fans have no idea what a depression is.

Well you are right you guys have been on a long streak. We did have horrible three years. But you know we stayed with the team. I still think it starts up at the top and Shiv is not the guy riderfans think and someday they will realize that. There are better football people out there that would make better GM's. As a rider fan who would you go after?

I think they do....F-troop was an embarresment.

Glad you guys got solid ownership!

I think you said what many in Calgary have said. Thanks to the new ownership group