GREY CUP 2011 COMING TO VANCOUVER “A Celebration of What the Grey Cup Means to Canada, and What the Lions Mean to British Columbia,” CFL Commissioner says
Vancouver, B.C. – (February 27, 2009) — The 2011 Grey Cup is coming to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canadian Football League Commissioner Mark Cohon announced today.
“We are proud to bring Canada’s national championship to the province, but people in Vancouver and right across B.C. know the Grey Cup is much more than our biggest game,” Cohon said.
“It’s a massive celebration of what our teams mean to our communities, what our league means to our country, and what it means to all of us to be proudly Canadian,” he said.
“So Vancouver is the perfect venue for our 99th Grey Cup. There is no better example of the strength and relevance of today’s CFL than the B.C. Lions, and no one better at hosting Canadians than our friends here in beautiful British Columbia.”
Under the leadership of owner David Braley, the Lions have undergone a renaissance that has made them a model CFL franchise: a successful team, a vibrant business, and a leader in the community.
A perennial contender, the Lions exceeded the 300,000 mark for total attendance last year for the first time since 1991.
The Lions champion several important community initiatives, including support for amateur football through the Orange Helmet Awards, for child literacy through the Read, Write and Roar program, and for local fundraising through Lions Share. Their Lions in the House program features player visits to schools that emphasize the importance of fitness, education, and respect for classmates.
“The Lions are British Columbia’s team, and any success we have enjoyed really belongs to the people of British Columbia,” Braley said.
“They’re the reason I’m confident the 2011 Grey Cup will be a huge success. I know people here will welcome their fellow Canadians with warmth, generosity and a great deal of fun.”
The biggest challenge facing Vancouver just might be exceeding the bar they set the last time they hosted the Grey Cup in 2005. That game:
• Sold out eight weeks before game day; • Boasted a live attendance of 59,197; • Was watched by a television audience of almost 3.9 million; • Was the highlight of the Party on the Pacific Festival, which attracted 47,000 visitors, more than 20,000 of which came from outside of Vancouver • The Grey Cup game and festival generated an estimated $76 million in total economic activity; • Featured the Edmonton Eskimos 38-35 overtime victory over the Montreal Alouettes, one of the greatest games in Grey Cup history.
“Hosting the Grey Cup is another opportunity to showcase our province and communities, to generate new economic activity, and to create local jobs,” said British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell.
“This announcement is an example of British Columbia’s ability to attract major events beyond the Olympics,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and Minister responsible for PavCo.
“In 2011, British Columbia will be ready to welcome CFL fans from across the Province and from across Canada.”
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the Grey Cup is a national icon that delivers tangible benefits for a host city.
“We’re honoured to welcome the Grey Cup back to Vancouver,” said Mayor Robertson.
“The Game is a huge boost to our local economy, and I know Vancouverites, along with our friends and neighbours from across British Columbia, will ensure the 2011 game and the entire festival are a tremendous success.”