Hundreds of Saskatchewan Rush fans are headed down to Calgary this weekend to watch their team take on the Roughnecks for the Hulk Rush Road Trip.
However, there’s a problem: The Rush Hulk isn’t welcome in the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Kelvin Ooms, who dons the superfan costume at Rush games, was surprised when he found out.
“I thought maybe someone was pulling my leg,” he said.
But it’s no joke. The Rush organization confirmed through the Roughnecks that Ooms wouldn’t be allowed inside the building if he was wearing the Hulk costume.
The reason? The Saddledome doesn’t admit the official, or unofficial, mascots of opposing teams.
Ooms told 650 CKOM he doesn’t understand the decision, given he brought two busloads of fans to last year’s game with resounding success.
“It was the party of our life,” he said.
“I had a lot of fun with the Roughneck fans while I was down there as the Rush Hulk.”
He said he was more popular on the concourse in Calgary than he is at a home game in SaskTel Centre, with Roughneck supporters stopping him every few feet to take a selfie.
He added there were no problems at all.
“Not even a rude comment,” he said.
This year Ooms organized to double the size of the trip, selling over 300 tickets for the game.
He said he’ll still join them in street clothes.
“I prefer to go as the Rush Hulk, that’s what the fans are expecting (from both Saskatchewan and Calgary),” he said.
“It creates great rivalry, it creates fun in the stands.”
Bob Godun, security manager at the Saddledome, and the Calgary Roughnecks didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Brandon Urban, director of business development and media relations with the Saskatchewan Rush, said the organization tried to get the Roughnecks to reverse the decision.
However, despite the team’s owner also getting involved, they were unsuccessful.
“They told us it was a non-negotiable discussion,” Urban said.
“It’s brutal, it’s crappy, it sucks.”
The Rush asked the Roughnecks why Ooms was allowed in during last year’s Hulk Rush trip. Urban said it was because Ooms only had the Hulk gloves and mask last year.
Ooms recently purchased a more extensive costume after a crowdfunding campaign in the fall.
So how does the Rush Hulk feel after the ordeal?
“Now they’ve made me really angry,” he joked.
“You’d think that they’d want this to build the game … and they’re killing it.”