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EndoftheBeginning Aug 15, 2019 2:22 PM

Walby played at a max weight of 360 or 370 lbs according to his teammate Troy Westwood. The two of them host the pre/post game Bomber show on the local TSN radio station (TSN doesn't have CFL radio broadcast rights in Winnipeg, so can only do pre-game, half-time and post-game hits). Anyway, stories being told on sports radio here are that Walby can eat a couple of his namesake burger in 20 minutes.

megadude Aug 15, 2019 2:26 PM

Instant heart attack.

Much like the variety of novelty food offered at the CNE fair in TO every year.

elly63 Aug 15, 2019 10:57 PM

Organizers of NFL pre-season game at IG Field scrambling under pressure to sell tickets
Mike McIntyre Winnipeg Free Press August 13 2019

It's fourth-and-long for organizers of next week's NFL exhibition game at IG Field. And it appears moving the goalposts and throwing up a last-minute Hail Mary isn't bringing them much closer to finding the end zone.

Normally, a sea of blue would be most welcome at the home of the Bombers. But in this case, it's bad news for those who were hoping for a packed house on Aug. 22 when the Oakland Raiders play host to the Green Bay Packers in the first — and I suspect last — four-down football game to come to Winnipeg.

A search of Ticketmaster shows thousands of available tickets, displayed as blue dots, in pretty much every section. It's even more pronounced in the mostly unsold lower bowl, where the most expensive tickets are clearly keeping customers far, far away.

How grim is it? I'd love to be able to tell you, but On Ice Entertainment Ltd., the Toronto-based third-party promoter behind the event, won't give specific sales numbers. They didn't return my messages on Tuesday seeking an update but did tell The Canadian Press last weekend they're currently at about half of stadium capacity, which is officially listed at 33,134.
Organizers were hoping for a packed house when the Oakland Raiders play host to the Green Bay Packers at IG Field on Aug. 22.

Organizers were hoping for a packed house when the Oakland Raiders play host to the Green Bay Packers at IG Field on Aug. 22.

I'd take that with a giant grain of salt, considering the Ticketmaster map appears to show more than 50 per cent of seats still up for grabs. Safe to say their ultimate goal of a sell-out is going to come up painfully short.

What's more, after vowing there would be no price reductions following initially slow sales, they called an audible last week and slashed about 6,000 tickets from the original cost of $164 to $75, plus taxes and fees.

They tried to save some face by touting it as a sponsorship arrangement with Molson Coors by dubbing them "Miller Lite End Zones," but in reality this was the equivalent of breaking the glass in case of an emergency. For what it's worth, those tickets don't appear to be moving very quickly, either.

Even that attempt has been botched badly. How do you imagine the people who'd already paid full price felt when they heard about the fire sale, then initially called Ticketmaster and were told "Sorry, no refunds."

Alienating and angering your most loyal customers is not usually a recipe for a successful business venture. John Graham, the president of On Ice, has since been quoted as saying the ticket-selling agency "will handle it."

As the home team, the Raiders assume all of the financial risk in this venture, because the home team gets gate revenues.

But it's not clear exactly what that means.

Winnipegger Mike McPherson bought two of those $164 tickets in section 202 when they first went on sale to the public, only to learn about the sudden discount through news reports last weekend. Naturally, he called Ticketmaster, hoping to either be reimbursed the difference or offered a full refund so he could repurchase new tickets at the cheaper price. He even cited Graham's quote to the person on the other end of the phone.

"I spoke twice to a Ticketmaster manager who said tickets were final sale and the promoter hadn’t authorized any refunds. He told me he was going to write an email to the promoter requesting authorization to refund my tickets and would call me back to confirm," McPherson told me Tuesday.

He's still waiting for a reply.

"I'm assuming I might have to call Ticketmaster again to resolve this. It’s not about the money as much as it’s about the principle of what’s happening here. The tickets were bought as a Father’s Day gift, with my dad being a life-long Packer fan. When I purchased them these tickets were the most affordable option available," said McPherson.

As a Week 3 pre-season NFL game, there's a good chance the teams' regular players, such as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, above, will get some significant playing time.

Naturally, McPherson is a bit sour at the whole process, although he's going to the game no matter what and intent on enjoying the experience with his pops.

There was plenty of sticker shock when prices were rolled out in early June with eight ticket options ranging from $75 to $340, not including taxes and fees. Many, including yours truly, predicted this was doomed to fail.

Sure, the cheapest upper-deck ones — available in very limited numbers — sold out quickly. But save for the 40 corporate suites, which are apparently occupied, the rest are still available in large quantities.

The eight pricing options average out to $226.88, which, if you multiply by the 33,000 seats they hoped to sell, would have come to $7.5 million. That figure would actually be much higher, considering there are far more tickets available in the four highest-price ranges than in the four cheapest ones. Throw in parking and concessions and local consumers were being asked to dig very deep.

As a Week 3 pre-season NFL game, there's a good chance the regulars such as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will get an extended look, which promoters hoped would be a major selling point. But unless something changes dramatically in the next week, this is shaping up to be a multi-million-dollar gamble gone bad.

Although the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are partners in this enterprise, they are no doubt thrilled they absorbed no direct financial risk. If anyone is going to take a bath here, it's Oakland (the home team gets gate revenues) and On Ice Entertainment.

Some will try to paint this as a failure on the part of Manitobans, but don't be fooled by that. This is a healthy sports town, with more options than ever, and football fans are already being well-served by a talented Bombers club that has yet to lose at IG Field this season and have provided plenty of bang for their much-cheaper entertainment buck. A crowd of 25,354 took in last Thursday's win over Calgary that moved Winnipeg to 6-2, alone on top of the CFL's West Division.

Even Friday's exhibition basketball game between the men's teams from Canada and Nigeria drew a near lower-bowl sellout of 8,000 fans at Bell MTS Place, despite a lack of obvious star power on either squad.

If anything, it's a rejection of an overpriced cash grab in what was already a saturated market, with only so much disposable income to go around. It's worth noting a previous Canadian NFL experiment, in which Toronto hosted eight games between 2008 and 2013, saw prices slashed significantly once fans realized they were being played for suckers.

It's also worth noting you can find NFL exhibition game tickets for as cheap as US$12 available to see the Minnesota Vikings just a seven-hour drive south of here at beautiful U.S. Bank Stadium. In fact, a quick search around the league shows just how inflated these Winnipeg prices truly are.

The obvious question is where do they go from here? A half-empty IG Field (or half-full, if you want to think positively!) is not going to be a good look for anyone, so you wonder if another wave of wholesale price reductions are on the way. Or, perhaps they'll try to quietly paper the place with giveaways.

Whatever the case, an event that was being touted as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has been fumbled from the start and might well end up being remembered for all the wrong reasons.

elly63 Aug 16, 2019 1:51 PM

CFL, Physical and Health Education Canada bring football to schools
CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League (CFL) and Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) have announced a new five-year partnership which will help introduce the game to thousands of schools and millions of students from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The collaboration supports the CFL’s ongoing #TryFootball initiative which aims to encourage youth to discover the game.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to work closely with PHE Canada to share our great game with young people throughout the country,” said CFL Commissioner, Randy Ambrosie. “Whether it’s with boys, girls, new Canadians, football fans or those new to the game, the schoolyard is the perfect place to bring kids together to learn, play and have fun.”

In addition to expanding the reach of the game, the partnership will enhance theMove Think Learn: Football in Focus teaching resource to incorporate new skill practice games and instructional methodology, to assist educators in adding football to their schools’ physical education programming. The enhanced resource has been developed in collaboration with Football Canada and the first edition, available this fall, will target Grades 4-6, while subsequent editions will focus on Grades 7-9 (Fall 2020) and Kindergarten to Grade 3 (Fall 2021).

“Sports like football have the incredible ability to teach young people some of life’s most important lessons – leadership, teamwork, responsibility and so much more,” said Melanie Davis, Executive Director and CEO of PHE Canada. “By working together and developing this resource, we will empower educators with the knowledge to teach kids how to run, throw, catch and kick their way towards a more healthy, fun and active lifestyle.”

The availability of football teaching resources will not only help diversify educators’ programming, but also extend a new bridge for young Canadians to connect with their communities.

“Canadian football plays such a big role in the nation’s sporting landscape, but not every teacher has the tools and the background to share the game,” added Ambrosie. “We’re trying to eliminate that barrier and support all educators – to give kids the chance to learn and play football with their friends and throw the ball around with their families.”

Educators are invited to learn more about PHE Canada and Move Think Learn atwww.phecanada.ca. For additional information regarding the CFL’s #TryFootball campaign, please visit TryFootball.ca.

VANRIDERFAN Aug 16, 2019 2:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 8659925)
Organizers of NFL pre-season game at IG Field scrambling under pressure to sell tickets
Mike McIntyre Winnipeg Free Press August 13 2019

It's fourth-and-long for organizers of next week's NFL exhibition game at IG Field. And it appears moving the goalposts and throwing up a last-minute Hail Mary isn't bringing them much closer to finding the end zone.

Normally, a sea of blue would be most welcome at the home of the Bombers. But in this case, it's bad news for those who were hoping for a packed house on Aug. 22 when the Oakland Raiders play host to the Green Bay Packers in the first — and I suspect last — four-down football game to come to Winnipeg.

A search of Ticketmaster shows thousands of available tickets, displayed as blue dots, in pretty much every section. It's even more pronounced in the mostly unsold lower bowl, where the most expensive tickets are clearly keeping customers far, far away.

How grim is it? I'd love to be able to tell you, but On Ice Entertainment Ltd., the Toronto-based third-party promoter behind the event, won't give specific sales numbers. They didn't return my messages on Tuesday seeking an update but did tell The Canadian Press last weekend they're currently at about half of stadium capacity, which is officially listed at 33,134.
Organizers were hoping for a packed house when the Oakland Raiders play host to the Green Bay Packers at IG Field on Aug. 22.

Organizers were hoping for a packed house when the Oakland Raiders play host to the Green Bay Packers at IG Field on Aug. 22.

I'd take that with a giant grain of salt, considering the Ticketmaster map appears to show more than 50 per cent of seats still up for grabs. Safe to say their ultimate goal of a sell-out is going to come up painfully short.

What's more, after vowing there would be no price reductions following initially slow sales, they called an audible last week and slashed about 6,000 tickets from the original cost of $164 to $75, plus taxes and fees.

They tried to save some face by touting it as a sponsorship arrangement with Molson Coors by dubbing them "Miller Lite End Zones," but in reality this was the equivalent of breaking the glass in case of an emergency. For what it's worth, those tickets don't appear to be moving very quickly, either.

Even that attempt has been botched badly. How do you imagine the people who'd already paid full price felt when they heard about the fire sale, then initially called Ticketmaster and were told "Sorry, no refunds."

Alienating and angering your most loyal customers is not usually a recipe for a successful business venture. John Graham, the president of On Ice, has since been quoted as saying the ticket-selling agency "will handle it."

As the home team, the Raiders assume all of the financial risk in this venture, because the home team gets gate revenues.

But it's not clear exactly what that means.

Winnipegger Mike McPherson bought two of those $164 tickets in section 202 when they first went on sale to the public, only to learn about the sudden discount through news reports last weekend. Naturally, he called Ticketmaster, hoping to either be reimbursed the difference or offered a full refund so he could repurchase new tickets at the cheaper price. He even cited Graham's quote to the person on the other end of the phone.

"I spoke twice to a Ticketmaster manager who said tickets were final sale and the promoter hadn’t authorized any refunds. He told me he was going to write an email to the promoter requesting authorization to refund my tickets and would call me back to confirm," McPherson told me Tuesday.

He's still waiting for a reply.

"I'm assuming I might have to call Ticketmaster again to resolve this. It’s not about the money as much as it’s about the principle of what’s happening here. The tickets were bought as a Father’s Day gift, with my dad being a life-long Packer fan. When I purchased them these tickets were the most affordable option available," said McPherson.

As a Week 3 pre-season NFL game, there's a good chance the teams' regular players, such as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, above, will get some significant playing time.

Naturally, McPherson is a bit sour at the whole process, although he's going to the game no matter what and intent on enjoying the experience with his pops.

There was plenty of sticker shock when prices were rolled out in early June with eight ticket options ranging from $75 to $340, not including taxes and fees. Many, including yours truly, predicted this was doomed to fail.

Sure, the cheapest upper-deck ones — available in very limited numbers — sold out quickly. But save for the 40 corporate suites, which are apparently occupied, the rest are still available in large quantities.

The eight pricing options average out to $226.88, which, if you multiply by the 33,000 seats they hoped to sell, would have come to $7.5 million. That figure would actually be much higher, considering there are far more tickets available in the four highest-price ranges than in the four cheapest ones. Throw in parking and concessions and local consumers were being asked to dig very deep.

As a Week 3 pre-season NFL game, there's a good chance the regulars such as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will get an extended look, which promoters hoped would be a major selling point. But unless something changes dramatically in the next week, this is shaping up to be a multi-million-dollar gamble gone bad.

Although the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are partners in this enterprise, they are no doubt thrilled they absorbed no direct financial risk. If anyone is going to take a bath here, it's Oakland (the home team gets gate revenues) and On Ice Entertainment.

Some will try to paint this as a failure on the part of Manitobans, but don't be fooled by that. This is a healthy sports town, with more options than ever, and football fans are already being well-served by a talented Bombers club that has yet to lose at IG Field this season and have provided plenty of bang for their much-cheaper entertainment buck. A crowd of 25,354 took in last Thursday's win over Calgary that moved Winnipeg to 6-2, alone on top of the CFL's West Division.

Even Friday's exhibition basketball game between the men's teams from Canada and Nigeria drew a near lower-bowl sellout of 8,000 fans at Bell MTS Place, despite a lack of obvious star power on either squad.

If anything, it's a rejection of an overpriced cash grab in what was already a saturated market, with only so much disposable income to go around. It's worth noting a previous Canadian NFL experiment, in which Toronto hosted eight games between 2008 and 2013, saw prices slashed significantly once fans realized they were being played for suckers.

It's also worth noting you can find NFL exhibition game tickets for as cheap as US$12 available to see the Minnesota Vikings just a seven-hour drive south of here at beautiful U.S. Bank Stadium. In fact, a quick search around the league shows just how inflated these Winnipeg prices truly are.

The obvious question is where do they go from here? A half-empty IG Field (or half-full, if you want to think positively!) is not going to be a good look for anyone, so you wonder if another wave of wholesale price reductions are on the way. Or, perhaps they'll try to quietly paper the place with giveaways.

Whatever the case, an event that was being touted as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has been fumbled from the start and might well end up being remembered for all the wrong reasons.

You'd think these smart marketing people would figure out that most folks aren't suckers and that paying inflated prices just to see NFL preseason will not sell!

Acajack Aug 16, 2019 4:21 PM

I guess this "postcard from the summer BBQ circuit" fits here because it's technically about marketing...

Anyway, earlier this summer I was at a BBQ populated by a few people I knew, and some that I didn't.

At one point I noticed a 8-9 year old kid wearing a Hamilton Tiger-Cats cap. I know his mom so I asked them both "hey, you a Ti-Cats fan?" His mom said that the reason for the cap was that the kid likes big cats/felines like tigers, lions, etc. Basically, the kid wouldn't know the difference between no-yards and a fair catch.

Anyway, this random guy (I did not know before) near us overhears the conversation and immediately comes over to start talking to the kid - also not previously known to him I gather. He starts telling the kid that he really should switch to a Detroit Lions cap, that there are also other good cat-related logos like the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars... all of which are way "cooler" than the Ti-Cats cap. I found this odd, especially given that the Detroit Lions logo is absolutely banal and even ugly compared to that of the Ti-Cats. And the Panthers' and Jaguars' aren't necessarily nicer than the Ti-Cats' either.

But this guy was especially keen on getting the kid to switch from a Ti-Cats to a Detroit Lions cap for some reason.

I ended up letting the kid go play with other kids, and stated chatting with the cap crusader. Turns out he wasn't even a Detroit Lions fan, but was a die-hard fan of some other NFL team I can't recall. He also wasn't the VP of Marketing for NFL Canada, in case you we were wondering. Rather a federal public servant of some kind. From Ottawa or environs I gather. We talked football a bit and it was all NFL of course.

He was just an ordinary guy in Canada doing his little part to boost the NFL. No remuneration from Roger Goodell required or expected.

blueandgoldguy Aug 21, 2019 2:47 AM

looks like there are about 12,000 seats still available on ticketmaster for the NFL exhibition game in Winnipeg. So that means there will be about 21,000 sold. The Promoter is expecting a crowd similar to a Bomber home game so another 4000 or so blue dots should be gone by Thursday night.

esquire Aug 21, 2019 1:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy (Post 8664572)
looks like there are about 12,000 seats still available on ticketmaster for the NFL exhibition game in Winnipeg. So that means there will be about 21,000 sold. The Promoter is expecting a crowd similar to a Bomber home game so another 4000 or so blue dots should be gone by Thursday night.

I'd be pretty surprised if there was much of a walkup crowd, but I'm sure the promoter will still earn a tidy profit even with 22 thousand tickets or whatever sold given the very high price points.

That said, wouldn't it have been a better experience for all involved if they had dropped the per ticket prices a bit, filled the joint and come out with the same profit? Or are they so intent on delivering an authentic NFL experience that they wanted to make sure the place was only half full, in true preseason football style?

esquire Aug 21, 2019 1:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8660530)
He was just an ordinary guy in Canada doing his little part to boost the NFL. No remuneration from Roger Goodell required or expected.

Hilarious. I don't think I'd be able to handle living in Ontario :haha:

Acajack Aug 21, 2019 1:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8664811)
Hilarious. I don't think I'd be able to handle living in Ontario :haha:

It borders on the pathological with some people. You can't make up a story like that.

megadude Aug 21, 2019 2:40 PM

Big cats are the most popular team nickname and logo in sports, up there with birds.

There are a shit tonne of cool logos to choose from. But I must admit, I find the Detroit's logo better than the Ti-cats due to its simplicity (new updated one and previous one), which is a big factor for me. Plus it doesn't say the city or team name on it. For a kid though, the extra detail in the Ti-cats logo and more cartoonish look would be more appealing.

BC Lions has a great logo too but it says BC. So if I were wearing a cat logo just because I like cats I'd go for Detroit's, but not because it's NFL. The LIONS font for Detroit is also amazing, old and new.

My favourite college team is MSU and their one of their two main logo is a block "S". My daughter's name starts with S so it worked out when I bought her an infant ball cap for $6 on lids.ca. If I find Syracuse infant block S for cheap I'll also get that.

I also happen to have over 100 hats all bought for between $6 and $12 with a few over $20 due to Lids clearance sales over the years. They are TO teams, Canada, soccer, college, NFL (due to no local team) and some other sports. Also have at least 75 jerseys and 50 tshirts to go along (average price of $25 for jersey and $10 for shirt).

I also find vintage logos really cool. Like going back to say the 50s. The logos look like they were drawn by an 8 year old. But they are so bad they are good now.

If that kid still loves big cats when he's older then he might go crazy and buy all the hats with cat logos, preferably on clearance over a 15 year period like I did so it's not a huge waste of money, though still a waste of money I admit.

esquire Aug 21, 2019 2:51 PM

^ I think you and the NFL dude at the BBQ are way, way overthinking this... the kid probably saw a hat with a cool looking cat on it that he liked over at the mall, his mom bought it, end of story. No need to scour the hundreds of pro and NCAA cat logo options.

Acajack Aug 21, 2019 2:58 PM

As I mentioned in my first post - I highly doubt the kid knows the difference between no-yards and a fair catch.

megadude Aug 21, 2019 3:43 PM

BBQ guy sure, but don't know why you think I'm overthinking this.

Like I said "For a kid though, the extra detail in the Ti-cats logo and more cartoonish look would be more appealing". I mean, what you implied about the kid is what I just said right here.

Then I simply gave my perspective if I were in that position, "So if I were wearing a cat logo just because I like cats I'd go for Detroit's, but not because it's NFL".

And I never said there was a need to scour hundreds of logos. I said if he grows up and has an affinity for big cats still then maybe he'll buy a bunch of them over the years. Which is kind of a pointless collection, but most adults have had dumb collections at some point and are a waste of money like mine. Of course, I was discussing this somewhat jokingly and not in a serious manner.

suburbanite Aug 21, 2019 4:08 PM

I personally prefer when the Tigers let someone's 5 year old son on LSD draw the logo for the 1927 season.

https://sulimanalomran.com/images/de...-clipart-8.gif

No idea why it didn't stick.

blueandgoldguy Aug 22, 2019 2:22 AM

Looks like 9000-9500 tickets left for the NFL game in Winnipeg. So a crowd of approx. 24,000 right now. If they can get another 1-2,000 sold before tomorrow night that would be pretty good considering how dire things looked 2-3 weeks ago.

megadude Aug 22, 2019 2:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8665001)
I personally prefer when the Tigers let someone's 5 year old son on LSD draw the logo for the 1927 season.

https://sulimanalomran.com/images/de...-clipart-8.gif

No idea why it didn't stick.

They probably were experimenting with LSD on kids back then so that story checks out.

JHikka Aug 22, 2019 2:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by megadude (Post 8665833)
They probably were experimenting with LSD on kids back then so that story checks out.

LSD wasn't created until the late 1930s. :hmmm:

megadude Aug 22, 2019 2:38 AM

Just before I went to York U, they changed their name from the superior Yeoman to the generic Lions. If they were any good at sports, other than soccer, I might have bought a York Lions hat and could have passed it down to that kid.

But then again, I don't think I would have bought a hat with this goofy looking logo:

https://res.cloudinary.com/ourkids/i.../1275_logo.jpg
https://www.ourkids.net/camp/york-un...ons-camps/1275


In googling just now I discovered they finally changed their logo last year. This is better, but Lions is still a bad name to have chosen.

https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images...pg?w=800&h=378
https://www.underconsideration.com/b...g_partners.php


Sorry, I know, this could go in the Logo thread, but we're on the topic of Lions here and there's some funny and interesting material being discussed here.


By the way, Acajack, perhaps you could have suggested he track down an old hat from these guys:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/0d/92...c4ff27e7f1.jpg
https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/353180795755413610/

megadude Aug 22, 2019 2:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8665838)
LSD wasn't created until the late 1930s. :hmmm:

I'm not interested in facts!

Okay substitute LSD for some other hallucinogen.


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