The team invited fans to help celebrate Sunday’s CFL championship victory at IG field, and — clad in Bomber gear and warm clothing — hundreds if not thousands filled the stands for the party.
“We’re gathering tonight to celebrate Winnipeg’s second consecutive championship,” said CJOB’s Bob Irving, who emceed the event.
“We’re here to pay tribute to the players and coaches who made this possible.
“Two in a row might just be the beginning.”
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a thrilling 33-25 overtime win Sunday night to defend their Grey Cup title from 2019.
When the Bombers last won the Grey Cup, there was a parade and party at The Forks, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the team decided against holding a parade this year.
All those who attended the party were required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Attendees included Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, who inducted the 2021 Blue Bombers into Manitoba’s Order of The Buffalo Hunt, an honour bestowed to the 2019 team as well.
The order recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the province in a variety of fields, ranging from science to social work and the arts.
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman also spoke at the event, telling the crowd the Bombers’ win means he won a bet made before the game with Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.
The loser of the bet will have to wear the opposing team’s jersey for 108 hours straight, a nod to this year’s 108th annual CFL championship game.
During his speech Bowman held up a Hamilton Tiger-Cats jersey he said Eisenberger sent him before Sunday’s big game.
“I’m going to be mailing it back to him,” he said.
The Bombers are the first CFL team to win consecutive Grey Cups since Montreal Alouettes last did it in 2009 and 2010.
It’s the third time the Bombers have recorded back-to-back Grey Cups victories in the team’s history, but it’s the first time the Blue and Gold have repeated as CFL champions since 1961-62.
–With files from The Canadian Press