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Saskatchewan Roughriders advance to CFL West Division final before low Mosaic Stadium turnout

The Saskatchewan Roughriders reaches the CFL’s West Division final over the West semifinal against the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday. It was close but the Riders claimed victory with a 33-30 win.

It was an exciting time for fans. But not many were in the stands. It was the lowest attended Riders playoff game since the stadium could accommodate up to 22,200 people.

Rob Vanstone, the sports editor at the Regina Leader Post, was surprised by the turnout.

Read more: Saskatchewan Roughriders win OT thriller in West Division semifinal

“I was really shocked by it,” he said. “Not necessarily of the empty seats but there was such an abundance of them.”

During the game, Vanstone says most most of the correspondence he received wasn’t from people emailing him the normal football feedback but questioning where everybody was.

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Vanstone says the low attendance could be for many reasons such as COVID-19 restrictions.

“Maybe the fact the game was on a Sunday. They haven’t been having Sunday games habitually,” he said. “There’s a lot of NFL fans. Maybe they got their fix watching the NFL and the Roughriders in the comfort of their living room.”

Read more: Saskatchewan Roughriders looking for elusive post-season success

Vanstone says there was a reported number of 24,001 people who attended Sunday’s game to watch the Riders and the Stamps compete. Mosaic Stadium can fit the standard capacity of 33,000. But he is not convinced there were the amount of 24,001 people in attendance.

“I can’t see why more people wouldn’t want to go to a playoff game,” said Vanstone. “I can see if it was minus 40, I can see if the winds were howling or the snow was terrible. There seemed to be the opposite inclination on the part of people who ordinarily go.”

Click to play video: 'Rider fans react to West semifinal win' Rider fans react to West semifinal win
Rider fans react to West semifinal win – Nov 28, 2021

 

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