Manitoba

Blue Bombers' home field to be renamed Princess Auto Stadium

Winnipeg-based tools and equipment retailer Princess Auto has reached a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Winnipeg Football Club that will see IG Field renamed Princess Auto Stadium, the team officially announced Tuesday.

Stadium renamed as part of 10-year sponsorship deal with the tools and parts retailer

A wide shot shows a football field, with fans seated in the stands in the foreground.
Princess Auto has reached a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Winnipeg Football Club that will see IG Field, seen here in a file photo, renamed Princess Auto Stadium, the team officially announced Tuesday. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

The home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is getting a new name.

The Winnipeg-based tools and equipment retailer Princess Auto has reached a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Winnipeg Football Club that will see IG Field renamed to Princess Auto Stadium starting this April, the team officially announced Tuesday.

Princess Auto, which has more than 50 stores Canada-wide, has been headquartered in Winnipeg since its beginnings as Princess Auto Wrecking in 1933.

In a news release announcing the change, Princess Auto president and CEO Ken Larson said the company's and the Bombers' "shared values of teamwork, dedication, and a passion for excellence make this a natural fit."

At a news conference announcing the deal, Larson said this is the third year Princess Auto has partnered with the Canadian Football League team, but that the family-owned company's relationship with the team stretches back further than that.

Image of a stadium featuring the logo for 'Princess Auto Stadium' prominently.
A rendering showing the logo of the newly rebranded stadium. (Submitted by Winnipeg Football Club)

Harvey Tallman, who founded the Princess Auto retailing business, "was a huge Bomber fan, watched the Bombers every day until his passing at 99 years old this past year," Larson said.

"Today, [Princess Auto owners] Matt and Marc Tallman have put their stamp on a continued passion for this organization, and more importantly, for the city, for this province and I believe for Canada, because the CFL is our game and it stretches from coast to coast."

Princess Auto "has built a foundation of excellence and trust and community service," said Wade Miller, the football club's president and CEO.

"Princess Auto Stadium will stand as a testament to our collective pursuit of excellence. It will be a place where sports, culture and the community converge."

The stadium at the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus was initially named Investors Group Field when it opened in 2013, after the former naming rights holder, Winnipeg-based Investors Group, a subdivision of wealth manager IGM Financial.

The name was shortened to IG Field in 2019, when Investors Group rebranded to IG Wealth Management.

A large crowd of people walk into a stadium with the sign "I G Field" on the exterior.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers fans stream into the stadium on Aug. 5, 2021. The stadium at the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus was initially named Investors Group Field when it opened in 2013, a name later shortened to IG Field in 2019. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

In an email, a spokesperson with IG said the wealth manager will continue having a "robust relationship" with the Bombers, but its approach to community investment in Winnipeg is "evolving."

IG is concentrating on "supporting education and career path development to build financial well-being for underserved groups in our city," the spokesperson wrote, adding that the company has just announced new partnerships with Pathways to Education Winnipeg and Red River College Polytech.

The Winnipeg Football Club said IG "played an integral part in the club's growth and success" and will continue to be the club's wealth management sponsor.

In addition to being the home of the Bombers, the 32,000-seat stadium has been the stage for numerous big-name music acts, including Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Paul McCartney.

Valour FC, Winnipeg's professional soccer club in the Canadian Premier League, also plays its home matches there.

The stadium was a venue for the 2017 Canada Summer Games, and hosted the fourth NHL Heritage Classic as well as the 103rd Grey Cup in 2015.

The stadium is set to host the Grey Cup once again in 2025. It will be the fifth time the event has been held in Winnipeg.

The Bombers have made four straight Grey Cup appearances, though the team has lost out on the championship the last two years.

"We're looking forward to calling this the home of the Grey Cup champions, not just Princess Auto Field," Larson said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Arturo Chang

Reporter

Arturo Chang is a reporter with CBC Manitoba. Before that, he worked for CBC P.E.I. and BNN Bloomberg. You can reach him at arturo.chang@cbc.ca.

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