March 26, 2014

103rd Grey Cup awarded to city of Winnipeg Staff

WINNIPEG — The 103rd Grey Cup hosted by Winnipeg in 2015 will be an opportunity to celebrate our game, our country and the bright future they share, says the Commissioner of the Canadian Football League.

“What better way to showcase our modern league than to bring our biggest game to stunning Investors Group Field, one of the new stadiums that are home to today’s CFL?” Mark Cohon said here today after officially announcing the Grey Cup has been awarded to the city of Winnipeg.

“And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Canada than to bring our fans together from across the country, not just to mark one of our grandest traditions, but to celebrate what is a very bright future, in one of Canadian football’s proudest homes.”

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers proudly welcome the opportunity to welcome Canadians to their city and province for the Grey Cup game on November 29, 2015, said Brock Bulbuck, Chairperson of the football club’s Board of Directors.

“When this community came together to build Investors Group Field, a facility every Manitoban could be proud of, this day and this opportunity were very much part of the dream we all shared. We’re thrilled it has arrived.”

The Grey Cup trophy is one of Canada’s most powerful icons, a symbol that has been celebrated on stamps, coins and the Canadian passport.

The Grey Cup game is Canada’s largest sporting event, which routinely sells out months in advance and commands one of the largest audiences of the year. One in three Canadians watched at least part of last year’s Grey Cup from Regina, Saskatchewan.

And when combined with the Grey Cup festival that precedes it, the game has become an economic juggernaut.

Independent studies of the economic impact of recent Grey Cups on their host cities and provinces have pegged it at well over $100 million. The 100th Grey Cup in Toronto in 2012 generated more than $133 million in economic activity, while the impact of previous year’s Grey Cup in Vancouver exceeded $118 million.

“Hosting the Grey Cup is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the best of Manitoba while providing a major boost to our growing economy,” said Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba. “Bomber fans are among the most passionate in the league, and our stadium is among the finest in the country. Grey Cup 2015 has all the makings of a classic Manitoba barnburner.”

The city has what it takes to host a tremendous Grey Cup, including top hotels, meeting facilities, and one of North America’s most beautiful and modern stadiums, said Sam Katz, Mayor of Winnipeg.

“Winnipeg is blessed with a number of festivals and special events,” said Mayor Sam Katz.  “No matter the size, each event enhances the recreation and cultural experience for our residents and our visitors, while at the same time contributing to our growth and development.

“Hosting the 103rd Grey Cup is a wonderful opportunity to showcase or City’s many attractions and to confirm why Winnipeg is one of the best cities in the world to work, live, play and invest.  Winnipeggers are known for their warm hospitality and incredible spirit, and we are thrilled to be named as hosts for Canada’s premier football event in 2015.”

Wade Miller, President and CEO of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, said planning is already underway to make one of the biggest events in the country the best Grey Cup ever.

“This is going to be successful, it’s going to be big, and it’s going to make Manitobans proud,” Miller said. “Our fans will see to that. They’ve waited a long time for another Grey Cup and they’re going to make it the best ever.”

Details on tickets and festival events are still in the works, but Winnipeg Blue Bombers season ticket holders will have priority access to Grey Cup tickets, he said.

Winnipeg last hosted the Grey Cup in 2006, when the British Columbia Lions defeated the Montreal Alouettes 25-14. This November, Vancouver will host the 102nd Grey Cup at beautiful BC Place, which was completely refurbished in 2011.

This summer, Hamilton will open Tim Horton’s Field, the new home of the CFL’s Tiger-Cats, while Ottawa will open TD Place and launch a new CFL entry, the REDBLACKS. In 2017, Regina, Saskatchewan plans to open a new home for the Roughriders.