MONTREAL -- Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Wednesday a partnership with the Montreal Alouettes to hold the historic 50th Vanier Cup at Percival-Molson Memorial Stadium in Montreal, marking the first-ever staging of the Canadian university football championship game in the Quebec metropolis.
The announcement was made at Montreal's city hall in the presence of mayor Mr. Denis Coderre.
"Montréal is hosting the Vanier Cup for the first time and I am very proud. This announcement demonstrates that Montréal is a city of major sporting events. The economic and touristic growth and distinction that this event will bring to Montréal is another reason for us to celebrate. Growth based on sports, on healthy lifestyle habits, in a lively and dynamic city: a healthy city!" said the mayor of Montréal.
Also unveiled during the media conference was the return of TELUS as title sponsor of the prestigious event for the second consecutive year. The 2014 TELUS Vanier Cup is set for Saturday, November 29 at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and Radio-Canada.
"The participation of TELUS in the Vanier Cup in Montreal is part of a long tradition of commitment to the athletes and the metropolitan community,"
said Danny Serraglio, Vice President, SME business solutions for Eastern Canada, TELUS. "The Vanier Cup is the prime event of the fall for football fans in Quebec and it was important for TELUS to take part in this great championship for the second consecutive year. This is a way for us to support the next generation of athletes."
The Alouettes will organize the event and will take charge of ticket sales as well as game-day operations for the TELUS Vanier Cup (promotion and game-day experience, halftime show). For its part, CIS will handle logistics and will coordinate all satellite events such as the 50th anniversary celebrations, in conjunction, among others, with the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), University of Montreal and McGill University.
A program for the days leading up to the TELUS Vanier Cup will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
"We're thrilled to partner with the Alouettes and TELUS to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vanier Cup in Montreal. The Alouettes and TELUS are outstanding organizations and Montreal's reputation in terms of hosting sporting events is second to none," said Pierre Lafontaine, chief executive officer of CIS. "The growth of football in Quebec in recent years at the university, CEGEP and high school levels has been remarkable and we have no doubt this historic Vanier Cup will be a tremendous success next fall."
"We're extremely proud to organize the Vanier Cup in Montreal for the very first time," said Alouettes president and chief executive officer, Mark Weightman. "The Alouettes are continually seeking to contribute more and take a more active role in the development of amateur football. Our involvement in this event is a great opportunity and we are pleased to have the support of the mayor of Montreal and CIS. We invite all football fans from the province of Quebec to join us in Montreal on November 29."
Tickets for the TELUS Vanier Cup go on sale on Thursday, April 10 for Alouettes season ticket holders and to the public on the Admission network starting on Saturday, April 12 at 10:00 a.m. Ticket prices vary between $20 and $73. Students and Alouettes season ticket holders will receive a special rate.
The Vanier Cup has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years, both at the gate and on television.
After setting an all-time game attendance record of 37,098 spectators in Toronto in 2012, the Canadian university football final was played in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 18,543 last November at the 13,000-seat TELUS-Université Laval Stadium in Quebec City.
Over the past two years, an average of 883,000 fans have also tuned in to watch the championship match on TV.
Following a 39-year run in Toronto (1965 to 2003), the Vanier Cup has travelled across Canada over the last decade with stops in Hamilton (3), Quebec City (3), Saskatoon (1) and Vancouver (1), as well as two returns to the Queen City.
The Laval Rouge et Or head into the 2014 season as reigning two-time champions thanks to a 25-14 triumph over the Calgary Dinos last fall in front of their hometown fans. It marked a record eighth Vanier Cup title for the powerhouse from Quebec City in only 18 years of existence, including a remarkable seven banners in the last 11 campaigns.
The teams that will face off in the TELUS Vanier Cup on Saturday, Nov. 29 will be the winners of the Uteck Bowl, which will see the Canada West conference champions visit the RSEQ champs in Quebec, and the Mitchell Bowl, which will feature the AUS conference titlists and the OUA champs, in Ontario.