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North Delta man sets Guinness World Record with 9th CFL game in 15 days

Weather the biggest concern as Bobby Dubeau tried to see a game in each stadium in the shortest time
Bobby Dubeau with the commemorative game ball given to him by the BC Lions on Sunday, July 9, 2023, to mark his setting a not-yet-official Guinness World Record for seeing a game in each of the league’s nine stadiums in the shortest time. (James Smith photo)

Among Canadian football fans, Bobby Dubeau is now a man apart.

As Sunday’s 35-19 win by the BC Lions over the visiting Montreal Alouettes came to an end, the 37-year-old North Delta native set a new Guinness World Record (pending confirmation) for seeing a game in each of the CFL’s nine stadiums in the shortest time.

Dubeau began his 15-day record attempt on June 24 at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium, then took in games at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton (June 25), TD Place in Ottawa (June 30), Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal (July 1), BMO Field in Toronto (July 3), Mosaic Stadium in Regina (July 6), IG Field in Winnipeg (July 7) and Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton (July 8), before ending his quest at BC Place on July 9.

Speaking with the Reporter at Sunday’s game, minutes after the Lions recognized his accomplishment on the big screen at centre field and presented him with a special ball to mark the occasion, the affable Dubeau said the last two weeks have been an extraordinary experience.

“To see what it’s become now, like the CFL is finding me during the games [and] posting me on their Twitter page right now,” he said, holding up his phone. “Everybody’s been incredible — the teams, the media and the fans who have stuck it out with me at the games.”

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Dubeau got the idea for his record attempt last fall when his flight from Montreal to Nova Scotia was cancelled due to the arrival of Hurricane Fiona.

“I was going to go to an Alouettes game anyway but I was stuck for a few more days. Ottawa was playing the next day, so I went to Ottawa where I have some family and I thought, well maybe I could do this all next year,” he said.

When the CFL released its 2023 schedule in December, Dubeau saw it would be possible to see a game at each venue over three consecutive weekends.

“There were Western [Division] games on one weekend, Eastern games the next. It was very convenient to do all of them within a 15-day period,” he said. “I applied to Guinness in February because I thought it would be a neat record to have, and after 12 weeks they sent me a message saying ‘you’ve been approved, go ahead and start submitting evidence immediately’. So it all kind of worked out.

“I’ve always wanted to check out every stadium, but I’ve [also] always wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records, and this is a lot easier than eating 76 hot dogs or something like that.”

Dubeau’s record attempt started off quietly — “I didn’t want anybody to really attempt it with me,” he said — before media picked up the story. After that the league took notice, and teams went above-and-beyond to make sure he felt welcome.

“It’s a great way to get some free merchandise if you’re a minor Canadian celebrity, an ‘E’-level celebrity maybe,” he joked, “but it’s been incredible.”

Beyond swag and tickets to games, Dubeau said the highlight of the last 15 days has been meeting all-star CFL athletes in person.

“[Retired defensive back] Antoine Pruneau from the Redblacks presented me a jersey on the field,” he said by way of example. “It’s incredible how accommodating [teams] have been. I guess it’s probably a Canadian thing, right? So I’m seeing the best of Canada, the best out of Canadians, on this trip.”

Dubeau said his biggest concern was the weather — thunderstorm warnings when he was in Edmonton, smoke so bad in Ottawa he thought the game might be cancelled, and a lengthy delay in Montreal due to heavy rain and lightning.

“I waited underneath the worst stands in Canadian football, water dripping all over on every side. We’re basically all cramped in there waiting two hours for this game to start,” he said.

“If it didn’t start by the third hour, the game would have been cancelled and I would have been the laughing stock of Canada, stuck out in Montreal again. Montreal seems to always get me somehow,” he laughed.

“But overall, hey, I can’t complain about anything. I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to attempt this and pull it off.”

SEE ALSO: Guinness World Record-breaking gastronomy coming to White Rock dock

Just attending the games isn’t quite enough to earn him the record though. Guinness requires he submit evidence proving he was at each game and stayed for the duration, including video recordings — “every hour I need to film two minutes” — and witness statements.

“I need to get a couple strangers at every game to sign off saying that I was here at the start and I was here at the end. The end is a problem, especially when (…) the home team’s losing and everybody wants to go home [and] beat traffic. But you can’t beat traffic if you’re being my witness,” he said.

“I’ve been lucky to have people that have stuck it out. I make sure to get witnesses who are fans of both teams, just in case.”

After he submits all of his documentation, he figures it could be another 12 weeks before he learns from Guinness whether the record is officially his.

Asked if he would ever do it again, Dubeau’s answer was decisive.

“No. Not this quick. I honestly don’t know if it will ever be beaten because you need three weekends to do it. So I wouldn’t do it again,” he said.

“I’d definitely go back to every stadium again, but I’d definitely pace myself.”

In the meantime, Dubeau seems to be taking his newfound fame in stride.

He says he doesn’t have any plans for what to do once Guinness confirms the record is his, joking that “maybe a bar will have me in one day for an autograph signing, I dunno, on wing night.”

“Some say — not me — but this might be the greatest football accomplishment by someone from North Delta, Superbowls included, CFL all-stars included. I wouldn’t say that, but I think some people are,” he quipped with a wry grin.

“I just did it for fun, it was something to do. I’ve been lucky.

“I guess the only thing left to do is maybe get caught in a Just For Laughs Gag. [That] would be my next goal, if they’re still filming.”

SEE ALSO: North Delta Grade 4 class wins climate activism award

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Bobby Dubeau whips up the crowd before BC Lions in-game host Katie Hamilton presented him with a commemorative game ball on Sunday, July 9, 2023, to mark the occasion as he set a not-yet-official Guinness World Record for seeing a game in each of the league’s nine stadiums in the shortest time. (James Smith photo)

James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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