Football in Winnipeg was a real mess before the amalgamation of a few teams in 1933 to form the Blue Bombers. These early teams (Victorias, Rowing Club. St. John's, Tammany Tigers, and Winnipegs) played at River Park, Carruthers Park, and Wesley Park (pretty much in that order) before the Bombers were formed. From 1933-1934, they played out of Carruthers Park, before Osborne Stadium was built in 1935.
On April 23, 1999 Joan Sheps wrote: I checked out Canad Inns Stadium (formerly Winnipeg Stadium) on your website and maybe I could keep you in touch about the stadium right now.
There was another professional sports team playing there, and it was the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball club of the Northern League. They played in the stadium from 1994-1998 and now have a new home at CanWest Global Park. Winnipeg Stadium was originally a good baseball stadium for the Winnipeg Goldeyes (1954-1964) of the Northern League. It was also used at the same time for football and other events. The stadium had problems with clubhouse facilities, so baseball teams had to use the football dressing rooms or walk across the street to the Winnipeg Arena to shower and change.
There also were problems with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Winnipeg Goldeyes sharing the same facility, because back then, Sunday sports were illegal. To solve that problem, the Goldeyes either had double headers on Saturdays or free admission on Sunday. On Sunday games, a hat was passed around with fans putting volunteer donations.
After the Goldeyes days in the 1970's, Mayor Steve Juba wanted a dome on top of Winnipeg Stadium to solve rain problems - there were 120 Northern League games. The idea was rejected because it would interfere with several flight patterns at Winnipeg International Airport.
There were good moments with the classic Goldeyes with 1957, 1959 and 1960 titles, and the 1959 & 1964 Northern League all-stars games. In 1979, the baseball complex was virtually destroyed when the Blue Bombers rebuilt their fieldhouse over to the left field dugout. The expansion carved into the third base line and made the field unplayable for baseball. In 1984, the grandstand was destroyed. The baseball part of the stadium is now the location of the Blue and Gold Room. The International League's Winnipeg Whips also made it their home for two seasons.
Today, Winnipeg Stadium is not a good place for baseball and the new Winnipeg Goldeyes now use part of the football field to play their games. The seating is bad is more meant for football than baseball. This is now why the Goldeyes needed a new home. In 1999, they will have one.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers still play at Winnipeg Stadium, and now there is a huge renovation coming for the 1999 season and for the upcoming 1999 Pan-Am Games right here in Winnipeg. There is right now a new Bomber Shop, and the stadium is getting rid of its old scoreboard and its metal benches, to make way for new single seats and a scoreboard, with new replay boards! The Winnipeg Goldeyes have hosted some games for the 1994 & 1997 Northern League Finals (1994 the Goldeyes won) and the 1991 & 1998 Grey Cup Games. The stadium has also hosted some events and the opening and closing ceremonies for the 1967 Pan-Am Games and will do so again for the 1999 Pan-Am Games.
Friday, May 21, 1999
Winnipeg Stadium gets major facelift
Theatre-style seats for 12,500 part of renovation
By ED TAIT -- Winnipeg Sun
Blue Bomber fans who've long believed Winnipeg Stadium was designed by a cruel, heartless (insert bad word here) who had huge shares in Preparation H can finally begin resting comfortably.
Renovations to the old ball park totalling $8.5 million are now in full swing and should be completed by the club's first exhibition game -- June 24th vs. the Montreal Alouettes. Most importantly -- especially to diehard Bomber fans -- the facelift will mercifully include the removal of those blasted metal benches in the lower bowl that had a tendency to leave their mark after frigid fall home dates. They have been replaced by 12,500 new theatre-style seats.
As well, the $8.5 million in changes will include a $820,000 major renovation of the Bomber clubhouse and locker room, $400,000 pumped into the East Side Gold Club Lounge, a new score clock and Jumbotron (22 feet by 35 feet -- 3.5 times larger than the tiny one used at the Grey Cup), $500,000 on new washrooms and $1 million in landscaping around the Stadium.
In short, the major upgrade will finally bring the facility into the '90s and give Bomber fans the comfort they've long dreamed about.
"The stadium is 45 years old, but when you see what they've done now and what will be done it really will be a new Winnipeg Stadium," said Bomber GM Ken Bishop. "It is awesome. What's been done with $8.5 million is fantastic.
"The NFL will tell you venue is important. You've got to have the venue. Look at L.A., the biggest metropolis in the NFL ... couldn't get a team for the longest time. It's venue. In our case, we had to have a place where people could be comfortable and have the amenities."
The Bombers, by waiving the exemption on the amusement tax on tickets for the next 10 years, will provide $4 million toward the renovation. The feds, province and city are each chipping in $1.5 million while Winnipeg Enterprises is on the hook for $1.2 million.
On April 23, 1999 Jason Sheps wrote: I noticed nothing at all about the old facility of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Osborne Stadium. Maybe you should put some information about it on your website. I have some information I can give you about the stadium:
Osborne Stadium was the former home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and have played there since 1935. It was a baseball and football complex before Winnipeg Stadium. Osborne final contest was in 1952 when Edmonton defeated Winnipeg to advance to the Grey Cup. When Osborne Stadium was demolished, Great West Life insurance built their head office on the same site. The office is still there today.
DEAL CLOSE FOR WINNIPEG STADIUM
December 18, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures
Winnipeg, Manitoba - In the strongest language yet the main players involved in the
construction of a new stadium for Winnipeg said a deal is imminent.
Senior Manitoba MP Vic Toews said he met with stadium proponent David Asper to iron out
additional details and Mayor Sam Katz confirmed the City of Winnipeg has already signed onto the
deal, which will see a new football stadium at the University of Manitoba.
Toews said the stadium fits into Ottawa's plan to launch major infrastructure projects in the new
year to ward off the deepening economic crisis in Canada.
Toews added discussions have still to take place in Ottawa on securing the C$15 million in
federal money needed for the project, but that didn't seem to be a problem.
The stadium project was announced almost four months ago and is to see Asper and his
Creswin Properties Ltd. development company front a large part of the C$135-million project at the U of M.
Asper has said he will commit up to C$100 million toward the new home for the Winnipeg Blue
Bombers. The province would contribute C$20 million and Ottawa C$15 million. It involves a
30,000-seat stadium for the Bombers and the U of M Bisons football team, improving the track and
field facility at University Stadium and building a new amateur fitness centre to replace the aging Frank Kennedy Centre.
The province estimates it can earn about C$19.6 million back in taxes on the stadium and
related construction alone. (Winnipeg Free Press)
BOMBERS PLAN WINNIPEG STADIUM BY 2011
April 9, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Winnipeg, Manitoba - The Blue Bombers, University of Manitoba and three levels of
government have come together on a plan to build a new stadium for the team by 2011.
The federal government will invest C$15 million while Manitoba will contribute an equal
amount toward the C$135 million venue.
The Winnipeg Football Club has been seeking a new home to replace Canad Inns Stadium
since late 2004. After first trying to arrange deals for locations at Polo Park and South Point
Douglas, team owner David Asper and the university signed a memorandum of understanding last
summer. But it took several more months to work out financing.
Province officials believe they will fare better by investing C$19 million on a new stadium than
by spending C$40 million for needed repairs at Canad Inns Stadium which is only expected to
have a 10-year useful life.
The city of Winnipeg sell the team owner the existing Canad Inns Stadium site at full market
value. Asper will then create new retail projects to fund the new Bombers stadium development
and a refurbishment of the existing University Stadium at the university.
On November 29, 2009 Gord Mooney wrote: "The old south baseball grandstand also was home to the International League AAA Winnipeg Whips, the major farm team of the Montreal Expos for (I think) three years in the early 70s."