The Calgary Stampeders and the Edmonton Eskimos are bidding for the right to host the 2018 Grey Cup game.
The competition is the first under the CFL’s revamped selection process. After years of awarding the Grey Cup – and its estimated $100 million of economic activity – based on backroom handshake deals or regional preferences, the CFL Board of Governors has put a formal process in place to judge each application on its merits.
Calgary last hosted the league’s championship showcase in 2009 while the game was played in Edmonton the following year. The 2017 Grey Cup game is set to be hosted in Ottawa, an event that coincide with country’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
It would also appear that Hamilton’s drought in hosting the CFL game – something they haven’t done since 1996 – will continue another year.
When the City of Hamilton opened its publicly-funded $155 million stadium in 2015, the hope was that the city would be in position to host multiple Grey Cups in a short period of time, giving both the city and the team a significant economic boost.
Last November, Hamilton Tiger-Cats CEO Scott Mitchell said that legal issues surrounding Tim Hortons Field was the major impediment to the team bidding for the game.
“There’s still a significant legal claim against the builder dealing with the delays in delivering the stadium. That’s going to have to be taken care before we’re able to put together a bid with the city,” Mitchell said at the time. “The reality is, with everything that’s going on, 2018 is going to be a tough timeline. Typically, you want to be well into your plans two years in advance.”