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Guelph’s Alumni Stadium and Toronto’s Varsity Stadium got a taste of CFL action Thursday

The Guelph stadium, seen in this shot before the stands filled up, drew solid reviews.

Thursday saw two CFL preseason games played in unconventional locations that more typically host CIS football. Those would be the University of Toronto's Varsity Stadium, sited on what was a long-time home for the Toronto Argonauts that they elected to return to for one preseason game against Montreal, and the University of Guelph's newly-expanded Alumni Stadium, which will be hosting the Hamilton Tiger-Cats all season, but got its first taste of CFL action Thursday with a preseason clash between the Tiger-Cats and the Bombers. Both stadiums drew impressive reviews from many fans in attendance. First, Guelph, where Hamilton won 52-0 (Bombers' head coach Tim Burke's pregame comments that his team might "get blasted" proved accurate!), and then we'll get to Toronto, where the Argos prevailed 24-20:

And here's a photo of the Ticats entering the stadium:

The Ticats run out of the tunnel in Guelph Thursday.

Varsity Stadium also drew plenty of positive reviews from Argos' fans:

And a photo of the action at Varsity from the Montreal Gazette's Herb Zurkowsky:

A view of the game at Toronto's Varsity Stadium Thursday night.

Both stadiums seemed to go over pretty well with the fans, and they certainly worked out for the teams, with both Hamilton and Toronto picking up wins at home. In the case of the Argos, the Varsity Stadium game was just a once-off, but the impressive atmosphere created at an outdoor, non-Rogers Centre venue may add to the team's already-substantial motivation to try and find a new place to play down the road. It's even more important that things worked out for Hamilton at Alumni Stadium, though, as they'll be spending the whole season in Guelph. It sounds like their year away from Ivor Wynne Stadium has gotten off to a decent start.

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