WINNIPEG — Investors Group Field finally has a win on its turf, proving that the new stadium isn’t cursed after all.
The University of Manitoba Bisons football team came out of the tunnel to a roaring crowd of an estimated 6,500 fans to open their 2013 CIS season on Friday night.
The Bisons earned the first football win in the stadium since the new facility opened two months ago — something the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have yet to accomplish. The Herd defeated the Alberta Golden Bears 65-41, and also set a record for having the most points at halftime in team history (46-24).
It was the second first win the Bisons had in a new stadium if you go back to 1967 when the U of M team played their first game in University Stadium, which still stands in a dilapidated state next door on campus. It was also the first time the Bisons have played a game at night, which wasn’t feasible in their old digs due to lighting.
Third-year running back Anthony Coombs had, what he called, the best game of his amateur-playing career on Friday, recording 223 rushing yards on 16 carries with three touchdowns.
“I’ve got to give him more scholarship money,” head Brian Dobie said following the game. “It was getting crazy. He looked like the All-Canadian that he is. He’s so smooth… as athletically as Anthony is — and he certainly played athletically — it’s the way he sees the field. His vision is extraordinary.”
Coombs had Alberta on his mind again when he recalled his second-ranked game against the western team, which he faced in his rookie year.
“There was a lot of distractions this week, so I’m really glad we still came out and played and lived up to the hype. Now we can just move forward and focus on football,” Coombs said.
The team dispersed around 10,199 tickets to Friday’s game through Ticketmaster and to students, who could claim a free ticket. The Bisons next home game is Saturday, September 7 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.