Huddled together in a parking lot near Mosaic Stadium are 100 recreational vehicles, which will be home to football fans who plan to camp for the 101st Grey Cup.
The temperature was in the -20 C range, and even colder with the wind chill, when Michael Bruce backed his RV into place this week.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever had to bring a cooler to keep things from freezing,” joked Bruce as he unloaded the cooler and a barbecue from the back of his pickup truck.
Bruce, who is from Moosomin, Sask., east of Regina near the Manitoba border, says he’s been planning this trip for most of the summer.
He decided to camp because there was a shortage of hotel rooms in Regina.
Fans have also booked hotel rooms in Moose Jaw, about 45 minutes west of Regina along the Trans-Canada Highway, and south of Regina in Weyburn and Estevan.
The temporary RV community has a least one perk. The lot is between Mosaic Stadium – where the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats will face off for the championship on Sunday – and a complex where all the teams are holding their Grey Cup parties. “Riderville” is a big draw for fans of the Roughriders.
Bruce says he probably won’t spend much time in the camper because there’s so much going on with Grey Cup festivities. When he is there, the RV has a propane furnace with two 30-pound tanks that he says should last four days.
“The big thing [is] as long as the furnace works, it’s all good,” he said.
One trailer over, Merv and Marilyn Bodner had already set up their temporary home.
The couple from Lanigan, Sask., near Saskatoon, are well-practised at camping for Grey Cup having done it in 2003 and 1995.
“For all the Grey Cups here, we have RV’d it. We’re volunteers as well and we volunteered at the other two Grey Cups as well and just loved it,” said Marilyn Bodner.
Bringing the RV was a matter of necessity for the Bonders. They simply couldn’t get a hotel room.
“We tried to book right off the bat,” laughed Marilyn Bodner. “But all our shifts are at Riderville, so we’re right in the middle of the action.
Merv Bodner says their RV is fully winterized. The couple says they stay “toasty warm” with a propane furnace, ceramic heaters and electric blankets for sleeping at night. The only thing they don’t have is water.
“We’re Saskatchewan-tough,” Merv Bodner said.
“Yeah, we’re Saskatchewan-tough, or crazy, or one or the other,” Marilyn Bodner echoed.
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