The Bombers won each of the regular season meetings against the Knights.
And while some Ryder fans prefer not to remember it, Winnipeg defeated Saskatchewan in Regina the last time these two teams met in the playoffs. It was November 17 when the Bombers were victorious on 20-13.
Considering it’s a game against Saskatchewan’s biggest rival, it’s fair to say that Saskatchewan fans will make sure their schedules are clear on Sunday afternoon for this game.
Longtime Saskatoon Ryder fan Janice Owen has traveled to her last 12 Grays.
She drives over eight hours from Saskatoon to Winnipeg for the weekend’s game.
Owen predicts she will be one of the only fans to wear green amid a sea of blue and gold on Sunday at Investors Group Field.
“I’m going back to that 1989 energy by wearing my #71 Bobby Jurassin jersey. Hopefully this brings us some luck,” Owen said.
It saw the Raiders defeat Edmonton favorites 11-2 again in the 1989 West Final. Owen feels the Riders can repeat that history in Winnipeg despite Saskatchewan being considered the underdog.
“It’s one game and I kind of did a game. Owen suggested anything could happen. Even the strongest teams can have a tough match.”
Fans who normally travel to watch the riders in action may choose to watch from the sofa rather than the bleachers among COVID-19 concerns or the snowfall expected this weekend.
The advertised capacity for last weekend’s Western semi-final against the Calgary Stampeders at Mosaic Stadium was 24,001 – well below the record 33,000-seat capacity.
While the game on Sunday sold more than 30,000 tickets, some are still available.
Scott Gosselin, president and CEO of the Manitoba Hotel Association, said the event will be one of the largest in the province since before the pandemic.
“If you had told me six months ago that we were going to play a game here and there would be no restrictions on capacity and pitch, I probably wouldn’t believe you,” Jocelyn stated. “We really see it as a ray of sunshine.”
Saskatchewan Rogriders advance to Canadian Football League final before low turnout at Mosaic Stadium
The impact on the local economy, he said, will not only serve hotels but also restaurants and other businesses affected by the pandemic.
However, Jocelyn realizes that there will be some fans who would normally travel to see the Riders and Bombers not make the trip this time.
“We want to see people go out and gather, meet with a group of friends or travel. That’s all a big part of what we do.
The Bombers enter the competition as the favorites to win it all after posting an 11-3 record during the regular season. Saskatchewan finished at 9-5.
Regardless of what the odds makers say about who will win this weekend, Green and White fans are confident the Knights have a chance of beating their ticket to Hamilton in the Gray Cup on December 12.
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