Sarah Zintel | OttawaRedBlacks.com Staff
OTTAWA - If Friday night’s home opener was any indication of what’s to come, REDBLACKS fans will be loud and crazy this season.
The atmosphere of the sold-out crowd at TD Place was electric! With everyone in their best REDBLACKS gear and chanting to one another, it certainly did not feel like an expansion team.
It was obvious football is here to stay when scanning the crowd and seeing all the different Ottawa franchises being represented. The Rough Rider alumni players were given a standing ovation during a number retirement ceremony at halftime.
Football has deep roots in the Ottawa community and it seems as though things have picked up right where the Rough Riders off. The historic north side stands versus south side stands chants broke out within minutes of the opening ceremonies as it did years ago.
“If you were down on the field it really was a big deal,” said Head Coach Rick Campbell after the game. “(The fans) stuck with us all the way through. Even when we fell behind, the crowd was great. They were in it and it makes all the difference in the world for us.”
PHOTOS: Check out some of the stunning images from Ottawa's TD Place opener by clicking here.
Ottawa will make for a tough road game for CFL teams. Campbell knew from the first time he saw the stadium that things were going to get loud at TD Place.
“I knew when I walked in for the first practice, just how tight everything is into the field, you definitely feel it,” said Campbell. “It’s along the lines of Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, where the crowd is in so tight. They were great tonight and they were a big help.”
REDBLACKS will next host the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who are well known for the immense fan base that surrounds them. There is no doubt that the two teams will draw another substantial crowd to TD Place on August 2nd. Tickets are still available for the long weekend match up.