Santa, gifts for kids among plans for CFL Western Final in Winnipeg

There’ll be more than just football for fans to take in when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the CFL’s Western Final next month.

There’ll be more than just football for fans to take in when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the CFL’s Western Final Game next month.

Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller says the team has a few extras planned for the league’s first game ever played in Winnipeg in December.

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“It doesn’t matter because Winnipeggers are used to this weather,” Miller told 680 CJOB Tuesday when asked if he’s worried about frigid temperatures for the game.

“We can layer up for the weather.”

The CFL’s Western Final gets underway at 3 p.m. at IG Field Dec. 5.

The league is pushing games further into Canada’s wintery season than normal due to a later start because of COVID-19. This year’s Grey Cup game goes Dec. 12 in Hamilton.

Miller says the possibility of cold and snow won’t stop the Blue and Gold from putting on a proper party for the western championship.

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He says the tailgating area — complete with warming huts and fire pits — will open at 1:30 p.m. with cold-weather experts from Festival du Voyageur serving maple toffee to the first 500 fans to arrive.

Once the game gets going Miller says the team is expecting a special visitor — Santa Claus — who will taking photos with fans at Gate 2 throughout the day.

And kids at the game who’ve been good may even get a present from Santa, Miller says.

“For all the young kids, there will have to a little Santa’s helpers, Buzz and Boomer walking around, handing out little gifts for the kids that are there in the stands,” he said.

“So until their bags are empty, they’re just going to be handing those out to kids.”

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Miller said the Bombers are also planning “something special” to mark the retirement of legendary CJOB sportscaster, Bob Irving, who is set to call his last game at the western final.

“We’re going to honour Bob Irving like he should be — I’m not sure there’s anything we actually can do that would honour somebody who’s been around the team for 50 years — that’s pretty amazing, and I don’t think you’ll ever see that again,” Miller has previously told Global News.

The Bombers will square off against either the Saskatchewan Roughriders or the Calgary Stampeders in the finals.

The Riders host the Stamps in the West Division semifinal Nov. 28.

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Miller is encouraging Bomber fans to pick up tickets for the Dec. 5 game early.

“Tickets are moving really strong, ” he said.

“But we’ve got to sell more tickets now because we don’t want those people from the west buying tickets at the end there. We can’t have that.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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