On Saturday June 30th, the Saskatchewan Roughriders held a regular-season game designated as the “Humboldt Strong” game in honour of the 16 people who were killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash on April 6, 2018.
More than 200 people with ties to the collision, and a capacity crowd of 33,350 were at the Rider’s home game against the Montreal Alouettes. The list of people invited by the Riders included surviving players, their immediate and extended families, billet families, members of the community and first responders.
The Riders wanted to show support for the Broncos and the entire community of Humboldt, and wanted to thank the first responders for their efforts on that night. “Mostly it’s for Rider Nation to wrap their arms around Humboldt and the Broncos.” said Craig Reynolds, the president and CEO of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The Riders paid tribute in many ways, including a pre-game video and ceremony, painting the Humboldt Strong ribbon at the 29 yard lines, and placing a Broncos jersey on the 13th-man statue outside Mosaic Stadium. There was signage throughout the stadium dedicated to Humboldt Strong and fans were given green and white ribbons while entering the stadium.
The pre-game ceremony included Eddie Steele waiving a Humboldt Strong flag while leading the Riders onto the field. The coin for the traditional coin toss was replaced with a Broncos puck. The STARS air ambulance helicopter flew over the stadium just as the anthem was finishing and then a second time, giving the fans another chance to cheer. STARS was one of the first on the scene of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
To watch the Rider’s Humboldt Strong pre-game tribute video, CLICK HERE