Thursday’s NFL game in Winnipeg will see crowd ‘similar to the last Bomber game’: promoter

On Thursday night, the NFL is set to take over IG Field in Winnipeg.The exhibition match-up between the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers will be the only NFL game ever held in Canada, west of Toronto.Crews have begun working around the clock, applying NFL regulations to the home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.READ MORE: NFL’s bag policy in effect at upcoming Winnipeg exhibition game“The goalpost’s heights are different so we had to come in and put in the anchors about a month ago, install new posts, then they have to repaint the field and then around the perimeter where there’s an asphalt surface, that all has to be covered with turf,” says the event’s promoter and president of On Ice Entertainment John Graham.

NFL communications equipment being set up at IG Field in Winnipeg.

NFL communications equipment being set up at IG Field in Winnipeg.
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Graham says the cost of transforming the field, and all of the other preparations that are going into Thursday night’s game, exceed $1 million.The price tag on the event is clearly reflected in the price of tickets for the pre-season game.READ MORE: Viewing party for Winnipeg NFL pre-season game planned at The ForksA seat behind the end zone will cost you $100, including fees. The best seats in the house have a price tag of $440.“We’re bringing it to a 30,000-seat venue instead of a 70,000-seat venue,” explained Graham when asked about the ticket prices.

NFL communications equipment being set up at IG Field in Winnipeg.

NFL communications equipment being set up at IG Field in Winnipeg.Thus far, however, he doesn’t expect ticket sales to put a damper on the atmosphere come Thursday night, he said.“We’re not going to be sold out, I think we’re going to have a healthy crowd,” Graham said.“I would suggest to you that we’ll have a crowd similar to the last Bomber game.”If Graham’s prediction turns out to be true, the attendance of the game should come close to 24,914 fans. That’s how many people filled IG Field for Winnipeg’s last home game against the BC Lions.WATCH: NFL announces Packers-Raiders exhibition game in Winnipeg