Watch above: Saskatchewan Roughriders fans are often referred to as the loudest in the league. Amber Rockliffe met with football enthusiasts on “Green and White Fan Day” in Saskatoon to explore what else makes them and their heroes unique.
SASKATOON – Hundreds of Rider fans came out to show their pride for “Green and White Fan Day” at Griffiths Stadium Saturday. Players and coaches signed autographs, and fans got the chance to watch the Riders practice.
One of the fans, Jonathan Seaman, was wearing a brand-new jersey. He said his favourite player Macho Harris gave it to him after meeting him at the Don Narcisse football camp.
“He spotted me and my friend out of the crowd, and waved to us, and yelled, ‘I’ve got something for you after practice’,” Seaman explained.
The team’s vice president of marketing Gregg Sauter, said that’s a perfect example of what makes the team so popular. He said fans start out at an early age, and the enthusiasm seems to last for decades.
“We not only have one of the most engaged teams – we know factually we do, because there’s been brand studies put out there – and we have the number two most respected sports brand in Canada,” Sauter explained.
Sauter said this season’s first day of sales beat last year’s.
“People are starting to see the end of Mosaic stadium, and they realize we’re 19 to 21 games or so away from the end here so people are trying to get in, they’re trying to get down to the stadium – next year it’s going to be a hard ticket to come by.”
The current Mosaic Stadium facility is scheduled to be demolished once construction of the new venue is complete in 2017.