With CFL Week 2017 in the books, we can now start looking towards CFL Week 2018. The first question on anyone’s mind is where will it be held. A case has been made for a sequel in Regina, but I think that would be a mistake. This thing needs to travel around — I honestly think doing one out in the Maritimes at some point would a great idea — and I submit that Hamilton should host the next CFL Week extravaganza.
The facilities to host the event are all there, so that would not be a problem. The convention centre can host some stuff, and McMaster University, or even Players Paradise in Stoney Creek, could be where the CFL Combine takes place. But the biggest reason Hamilton should host CFL Week is because it would be a perfect trial run for the city’s inevitable pitch to finally host a Grey Cup again.
The city of Hamilton has not hosted the league’s showcase game since 1996. With the recent report that Edmonton and Calgary are bidding on the 2018 Grey Cup, and that Hamilton won’t bid on the game until all the stadium litigation is settled, that means 2019 is the earliest we will see the game played at Tim Hortons Field.
But there is nothing stopping the city from bidding on and hosting CFL Week.
It is clear from social media that the people who were in Regina had a blast this past week; the fans had a great time, players dug it and the media seemed to be almost unanimously positive about the event. Let’s bring all that to Hamilton, show off the city and prove that Hamilton can be a place for marquee CFL events.
People are going to say a Grey Cup can’t work in Hamilton until a Grey Cup works in Hamilton. By hosting CFL Week, Hamilton can show it is capable of hosting a marquee CFL event.
If it is a flop, then it is the thing that can be hung over the heads Hamiltonians whenever we drone on about the lack of Grey Cup hosting opportunities.
But if it is a success, then the city will have finally proven to all the naysayers that it is ready for the big one.