The Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ game day plan for traffic turned into frustration and gridlock for thousands of fans trying to get to Investors Group Field for the the team’s first preseason game in the new stadium Wednesday.
Social networking sites filled up with angry comments and discouraging travelogues from people attempting to reach the new facility at the University of Manitoba by car or bus in time for kick off at 7 p.m.
“Someone at the #Bombers needs to be thrown under the bus for this terrible inaugural event… if the bus ever shows up.” tweeted @wpgcameraman.
“While I am confident they will eventually work it out, the first game at #igf leaves nothing but a bad taste in many #bomber fans.” @teddytoba said on Twitter.
When the players took the field, thousands of seats remained empty as many fans were still crawling through bumper to bumper traffic to get there.
“Buses lined up down #ChancellorMatheson cars backed up Waverley -both ways on Pembina” Global reporter Kaleigh Hamilton reported on Twitter.
“people bailing off busses at Pembina & Bishop and hoofin it. 20-30 min delays Pembina. Bishop @ River gridlock.” Mike Thom tweeted. “avg speed on Bishop b/w St. Anne and St. Mary is 14 km/h. I could go on lol. it’s going to take few games to figure this out :)”
“People on our bus got off at University Cres. & walked the 1 mile to IGF!” Tweeted Ray Houssin.
“#WinnipegTransit better have its crap together by August when I’ll be seeing Paul McCartney at #IGF,” tweeted Jennifer Hanson.
Pembina Highway was bumper-to-bumper and moving very slowly.
The comments on transit and traffic weren’t all negative.
“Rapid transit was great! Right up until Uni Cres. Then a nice stroll to #IGF for the #Bombers,” tweeted Andrew Kalicinski.
The Bombers staked a lot on a “transportation plan” that included dozens of transit buses and park-and-ride schemes, to avoid the traffic chaos many feared — and seemed to materialize — when tens of thousands of fans tried to make their way to the new stadium in the south end of the city.