Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Fans Flocking to Saskatchewan for the Grey Cup Hope to Score Merchandise

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Fans Flocking to Saskatchewan for the Grey Cup Hope to Score Merchandise

Article excerpt

Merchandise a hot ticket ahead of Grey Cup

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REGINA - Long underwear in green, rubber ducks with tiny green football helmets painted on them and a foam helmet that looks like a watermelon.

There is no end to the list of things bearing a Saskatchewan Roughriders logo, and football fans flocking to Regina for the 101st Grey Cup on Sunday can't wait to get their hands on the merchandise.

The Riders have had more than $7 million in merchandise sales in each of the last four years, with sales in the 2010 centennial year reaching $10 million.

"We use the centennial year as our measuring mark and as our top line," Riders vice-president of sales Steve Mazurak said Thursday.

"We know that our targets were very aggressive and we also knew were keeping our fingers crossed for the best outcome -- of course we've got the best outcome. I'm not quite sure if we'll make that high watermark or not of that $10 million, but you know our sales are just going to the moon, absolutely to the moon."

The best outcome that Mazurak was referring to is the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Grey Cup, marking the first time the green and white has played in the championship on their home turf. The Riders will face the CFL East Division champs, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Football fans, like Tim Low, were combing through the racks Thursday at the Rider store at Mosaic Stadium.

Low, who is originally from Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask., but now lives in B.C. said he's still a "loud and proud" Rider fan. Low was already wearing a Rider T-shirt, but looking for more goodies.

"I've got lots of green. We're going to come get some more," laughed Low.

"I need a toque for Sunday. I don't have a toque and just like getting Rider gear and showing it off in B.C."

Jack Thompson of Moosomin, Sask., east of Regina near the Manitoba border, said he's been a dedicated Rider fan since 1965. …

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