Bombers, Roughriders fans pack Mosaic Stadium ahead of Labour Day Classic
Published Saturday, September 1, 2012 4:20PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, September 1, 2012 5:42PM CST
The 2012 Labour Day Classic is still a full day away, and CFL fans have already begun gearing up for the annual event.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders are set to face off Sunday afternoon in Regina at Mosaic Stadium – and some die-hard Bombers fans weren’t going to let them do it alone.
Sandi Beaudette and her family are some of a handful of Bombers fans who traveled to Regina to watch the annual matchup.
“We come every year and have a really good time,” said Beaudette.
This year Beaudette and football fans across the prairies will be eager for a win – with both teams having a rough start to the 2012 season.
The Roughriders are on a five game losing streak and are 3-5 for the season. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are also struggling, posting just two wins and six losses in the 2012 season so far.
Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice was fired on Aug. 25, and the game will be the team’s first time playing under new interim head coach Tim Burke.
But if recent history is a marker, the Bombers may have a tough time nabbing a win on Sunday.
The last time the club won on Labour Day was eight years ago.
Fan Kim Fallis went to Regina from Winnipeg hoping 2012 would be the year that marked the end of the losing streak.
“I haven’t seen them win since I started coming, so they need to win,” said Fallis. “2004 was the last time.”
Former Bombers Brendon Labatte and Odell Willis are hoping for a different outcome, though.
The pair now playing for the Roughriders said they’re looking forward to taking advantage of the home-team advantage.
“I wish them well as the season goes on, but hopefully tomorrow we’re just going to come take care of business against them,” said Willis.
Saturday Roughriders and Bombers fans alike crowded into the Mosaic Stadium to see both teams practice ahead of the matchup.
The stadium also hosted Riders Fan Day and offered food while players signed autographs.
Labatte said he was looking forward to seeing the same support in the stands on Sunday.
“I’m just super excited to come out and receive a few cheers rather than boos when I make my way onto the field,” said Labatte.
And though Bombers’ fans were much fewer than Roughriders, Beaudette said she didn’t feel uncomfortable being just a speck of blue in a sea of green.
“Fans here are fantastic. They give us a lot of ribbing, but they’re a lot of fun,” said Beaudette.