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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Great Winnipeg Stadium Moments: Grey Cups (1991, 1998 & 2006)

Winnipeg Stadium
On August 14, 2011 the Winnipeg Stadium, (now Canad-Inns Stadium), turned 58. Barring a major construction setback, this will be the final season for the building. In this series I look back at the history of the Stadium and some of the great moments, football and non-football related, over the decades !

There were three Grey Cup finals played at the Winnipeg / CanadInns Stadium: 1991, 1998 and 2006.


© CFL

Winnipeg was pumped for its first ever Grey Cup game on November 24, 1991. A week of parties and festivals climaxed with 75,000 fans jamming Portage Avenue to see the Grey Cup Parade that Saturday.

The story off the field was a temperature that only a true Winnipegger could love. The daytime low, just a few hours before game time, was -30. By the 1 p.m. kickoff time it had warmed up to a balmy -16.5 with a -24 wind chill.

On the field, 51,985 fans saw the Toronto Argonauts defeat the Calgary Stampeders 36 to 21. The man of the game was "Rocket" Ismael, the game's MVP. (For a recap of the game)


1991 Argo all-stars (source)

It was an incredible year for the Argos. Earlier they were purchased by an all-star ownership group that included Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretzky and John Candy. McNall scored an early coup by wrestling Raghib "Rocket" Ismael from the NFL with a CFL-record $24m, four year deal. (Also see The Art of The Rocket Deal.)


© CFL

Winnipeg was home to the 86th Grey Cup in 1998 that pitted the Calgary Stampeders against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 24

Calgary's Mark McLoughlin made up for a missed field goal earlier in the game by kicking a 35 yarder with no time left on the clock to beat Hamilton 26 - 24.


© CFL

Fast Forward to the 94th Grey Cup in 2006 on November 19, 2006.

Weather wasn't an issue at all for the 44,786 fans who packed CanadInns Stadium. Game temperature hovered around zero with no windchill !

The B.C. Lions defeated the Montreal Alouettes 25-14. A big story of the game was Paul McCallum who tied a CFL record for the most field goals in a Grey Cup game with six. Also, a young Buck Pierce made an appearance in relief of Dickinson.

For a great gallery of the 2006 festival and game see Manitoba Photos' gallery.

Next: Some memorable Bomber Grey Cup moments at other stadiums ....

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