The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have been cleared for practice in Manitoba.
Premier Brian Pallister announced Phase 2 of Manitoba’s pandemic and economic roadmap for recovery last Thursday. It included the ability for pro sports franchises in the province to reopen their doors albeit under strict guidelines.
“The CFL has given authorization as well, effective today, to open back up facilities based on provincial health and municipal authorities. They’ll be starting on Thursday,” Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller told Winnipeg Free Press reporter Mike Sawatzky.
Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe believes the “Bombers need the practice.” Winnipeg upset the Roughriders in the West Final and went on to win the 2019 Grey Cup. The Bombers can restart preparation for their CFL championship defence, if a season happens in 2020.
“This is a testament, actually, to all the citizens of Manitoba who have done exactly what our public health officials have been asking. So it’s a positive first step for us getting back to a normal training routine or the new normal and it just goes to how Manitobans took this seriously and flattened this curve,” Miller said.
Manitoba has had 292 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven have passed away from the coronavirus. It’s by far the lowest totals for any province which has a CFL team. The Bombers are the first team in the league to reopen its facilities.
“We’re all in this as a country, so we need to see how everything goes around the country and I would say we’re in a holding pattern for the next four to eight weeks until we see how that goes across the country,” Miller said.
“And hopefully the rest of the country has the same results as Manitoba and Saskatchewan are putting up on the board right now.”