Here is my submission on The Scratching Post. (I have edited this version both for better grammar and better wording):
I have many memories of Ivor Wynne Stadium.
When I was a wee lad (1962?) my parents took me to a game in the first season of the "new" south stands of Civic (now Ivor Wynne) Stadium. I think we sat in Section 22 or 23. My parents weren't well off so I imagine that they were given the tickets. I was too young to follow the play, although I tried my best. I still recall vividly 50 or so years later the excitement when the crowd cheered or booed. I could feel physically the sound they generated (cheering, booing, clapping) penetrating my young body. It's like I have the memory digitally implanted in my brain. Alas, unfortunately, I don't remember who they played or whether they won or lost.
In the late sixties, due to a neighbour, who was related to the gentleman who ran the concessions, I had a job at each game. My first year I sold potato chips in the stands. The bags were 10 cents each with my cut being a penny. I must have sold 90 bags, my first game, because I went home with the princely sum of 90 cents. Not bad in the sixties for a 12 or 13 year old. A bus fare was 10 cents and a movie theatre ticket was between 50 cents and a dollar, if I remember correctly. I moved up to selling containers of pop the next year. I carried 6 cone shaped (25 ounce?) containers in a wire basket filled with either of Pepsi or 7 Up (no diet in those days of course). Each open ended container had 3 or 4 paper cups (for drinking purposes) sitting on the top (to keep something from falling into the containers, perhaps?). They were 75 cents each (my cut was a nickel). On my best (probably very hot) night I sold 100 containers and I walked away with $5.00. This was serious change for a youngster in 1969.
My favourite year for the stadium had to be 1972. I remember going to the Winnipeg game in a driving rain storm. The stadium was packed to the gunwales. Who needed a dome? This was FOOTBALL weather. We won of course. That year we won only one of our first four games and a lot of people didn't give the team much of a chance. We wound up winning the final 10 games of the season and finished first in the East, with an 11-3 record. We won the 2 game total points (home and away) Eastern Final against Ottawa (overcoming a deficit we incurred in the first game at Lansdowne Park) and then beat the Green Riders 13-10 in the Grey Cup at Ivor Wynne. I had a very special feeling that it would be a banner year for the Cats. (After the first 3 losses) I just "knew" they would win each game.
They didn't let me down. As not all away games (and definitely not any home games) were on TV I remember listening to Perc Allen's excellent descriptions of the play on CHML. He could really "paint a picture" with his words. The colour commentator, Vince Mazza (sounding like he had a mouth full of marbles every time he spoke) always had interesting observations. I learned so much about football from listening to both Perc and Vince. That year, the only other regular season game I attended, against Ottawa, I went with my brother and his friend. They being NFL fans wanted to leave early as the Cats were seriously behind going into the 4th quarter and they thought there was no way that the Cats could come back. I successfully pleaded with them to stay. They were quite unbelievably amazed when the Cats did come back to victory.
I had the great fortune to be at both the second game of the Eastern Final and the Grey Cup as well in 1972.
While sad to see the "old girl" go, I am really looking forward to the renewed "Ivor Wynne Stadium at Tim Hortons' Field" in 2014. I just hope that construction goes smoother than Winnipeg's new stadium has so far and that it is ready in time for the first whistle in 2014.
OSKEE WEE WEE!