There are still plenty of tickets available for the Riders' first pre-season game at Mosaic Stadium Saturday afternoon.
“We won’t see a sellout,” stated the Saskatchewan Roughriders vice-president of marketing Gregg Sauter. “I would say we’re going to be somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000 I would say.”
The Riders will be the visiting team for the game, as the Ottawa RedBlacks technically become the home team since their stadium isn’t ready. It’s something quarterback Henry Burris is having some fun with.
“Is it OK if I use Darian’s locker?” Burris joked in a radio ad.
Brazil may be more than 6,000 miles away but the spirit of the World Cup was alive and well in Saskatoon Thursday as more than 40 Brazil fans gathered to watch the opening match against Croatia.
With horns, hats, tambourines and face paint, local Brazilians gathered at JT's Bar and Grill to watch Brazil kick off the world cup.
The crowd erupted into happy cheers as the hosting country beat out their opponent 3-1.
"It's so exciting and it couldn't have gone any other way," Clara Lessa said.
The foundation of the Saskatchewan Roughriders has been built on local talent for years.
Two current starters on the offensive line hail from the flat lands as do some of the best ever to work the line of scrimmage.
While hometown stars haven't been flashy, they're hard working and get the job done. Just last season the roster was filled with names like Brendon LaBatte, Ben Heenan, Zack Evans, Graig Newman, Neal Hughes, Scott McHenry, and Dan Clark.
The end is near for Riders training camp - at least the Saskatoon portion.
With just one final walk through scheduled for Friday morning at Griffiths Stadium, the team will then pack everything up and head back to Regina where they will face the Ottawa RedBlacks in their first pre-season game on Saturday at Mosaic Stadium.
There's nothing quite like the hype of training camp.
Every year there are one or two players who grab the spotlight and the attention of fans and media. Thisyear it actually began when Ryan Smith arrived at mini-camp in Florida.
It was impossible not to make the comparison; a short, soft spoken, hard working receiver from North Dakota had caught the attention of the coaching staff, just like one did back in 2008. While it's far too early to suggest Smith is the next Weston Dressler, it's not stopping some from thinking about it.
The countdown to game day is on with the RedBlacks and Riders set to open their pre-season on Saturday.
We all know the outcome of the game doesn't matter and how a number of the players perform isn't greatly important either, but the game is a big one for those trying to win a job. That is especially true for quarterbacks Adam Weber and Seth Doege who are trying to land themselves a full-time job as the team's third string and perhaps even backup quarterback depending on how things go.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced record sales and profits at their annual general meeting Tuesday evening.
The football club's total revenue for the 2013 season was $43.8 million, with another $25 million made on top of that by hosting the Grey Cup giving a grand total of $68.8 million in revenues. That brought in a franchise record profit of $10.4 million. The previous record was set at a $6.6 million profit.
To compare, the total revenue in 2012 was $34 million with a $1.1 million profit.
Injuries are a fact of life when it comes to football and especially training camp.
As of Tuesday morning, the Riders' walking-wounded list sits at 11 players. Though some of them have been working out a little bit, Head Coach Corey Chamblin admits he is a little concerned even if the injuries do pile up this time of year.
"It is normal and I am getting concerned about it just because we have a game coming up," he said.
Complacency definitely isn't settling in at training camp for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
During this off-season, it would have been easy for the team to just rest on their laurels when it comes the defensive backfield. Once Terrel Maze was re-signed it ensured that all of their starting defensive backs from the 2013 Grey Cup would return for the 2014 season - a group of defenders that showed very well down the stretch and into the post-season.
Football more so than perhaps any other sport can your career come to an end sooner than you know it.
Not only can the nature of the game lend itself to horrible injuries that might end a player's career but at training camps across North America every year veteran players are pushed hard by younger up and coming players. Sometimes those veterans lose their jobs because of those younger players.