The much anticipated “opening ceremony” for Investors Group Field was nothing short of grand.
One Heart Winnipeg, a massive gathering of 85 churches was the first event to be held at this venue. This event was also an opportunity for the venue to test out their ticket scanning system as 20,000 free tickets were printed and handed out at the main gate.
Event organizers went all out at making the event memorable and enjoyable to not just Christians but any proud Winnipegger who was there to get a peak of the new stadium.
There was a special appearance by former Blue Bomber Milt Stegall, 35 different Disney and Marvel comic characters and clowns. There were also performances by rapper Fresh I.E and YouTube sensation Sean Quigley.
In his speech, Stegall said that it was great that the first event held at the stadium was dedicated to God and joked that this would not guarantee that Bombers will win all the games.
In the middle of the afternoon, during the sermon, a cluster of jet planes launched from behind the big screen and flew past the stadium, making the crowd cheer. The experience was certainly overwhelming.
Throughout the event, Bomber fans lined up to take photographs with players Chris Greaves and Chris Kowalczuk and the rest of us just had a hard time putting down our smartphones and cameras. #investorsgroupfield was the twitter tag of the day.
For the past three years, One Heart Winnipeg was held at the MTS Centre in January. This year, the organizers could not get an available date and the Blue Bombers had come to their rescue by offering them this new venue. After this experience, one wonders if the event organizers would ever go back to MTS Centre.