‘Don’t get it wrong now, it was a party’: CFL created electric atmosphere for 2022 Touchdown Atlantic game

Photo courtesy: Ted Pritchard/Rattleboxmultimedia.ca/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Three weeks of detailed work paid off for the CFL to set up a summer party on Acadia University’s campus.

That’s how long it took to turn Raymond Field into a stadium fit for a professional football game, boosting the capacity from 3,000 to over 10,000.

Wolfville, Nova Scotia has a population of just over 5,000 but the town doubled in size and then some as fans came to the East coast for the 2022 Touchdown Atlantic game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Toronto Argonauts.

“Don’t get it wrong now, it was a party. We had a lot of fun out there. It was an amazing atmosphere, wildness for real, we all had a lot of fun,” Toronto linebacker Henoc Muamba said.

There were five lead changes in a tight contest that neither team led by more than one score for the entire 60 minutes. Argos linebacker Wynton McManis intercepted Riders quarterback Cody Fajardo with less than three minutes left and returned it for a touchdown to put the double blue in front, which proved to be the winning score.

“It was great, it was awesome. A lot of green in there, that’s great the Rider fans travel like they always do. I thought it was a great environment. We all enjoyed ourselves. We’d love to come out here and play more,” said Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie.

“It was an exciting atmosphere, a lot of fun. Once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I don’t think I would ever be here if it wasn’t for the CFL. So I’m very grateful for that and grateful for being a part of this event despite having a pretty tough game,” Fajardo said.

The 30-year-old QB was picked off for the third and final time on the day by Shaquille Richardson to seal the win for the Argonauts. Fajardo completed 24-of-34 passes (70.6 percent) with two touchdowns and three interceptions. His two fourth-quarter turnovers led directly to the Roughriders’ 30-24 loss.

Photo courtesy: Ted Pritchard/Rattleboxmultimedia.ca/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

“At the end of the game, our players were over there thanking the fans that came out. It was really fun,” head coach Craig Dickenson said. “All things considered it was really an excellent trip, we feel lucky and happy that we were involved in Touchdown Atlantic. We wanted to win this game, but take the loss out of the equation, it was a successful week on a lot of fronts.”

The Grey Cup 109 Headquarters at Grand Parade in downtown Halifax were buzzing on Friday night with a live band beside City Hall and the party carried over to the tailgate leading into kick-off on Saturday afternoon. The travel from downtown Halifax to the venue was smooth and the streets were bustling in Wolfville as was the pre-game tailgate near the field, which led to an electric atmosphere with a packed stadium of 10,886 lively fans in attendance.