The Grey Cup is still a month away but organizers say the game is sold out.
Capacity at Ottawa’s TD Place for the Nov. 26 CFL championship will be increased from 24,000 to 36,000, with the addition of temporary stands in both end zones, to meet demand for tickets.
Jeff Hunt, president of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group consortium that owns the CFL’s Redblacks, said Thursday he wasn’t surprised to see football fans in the nation’s capital snap up tickets.
“You’ve got to figure that 80 per cent of the tickets would be sold here in Ottawa, so it just shows you the interest level here,” Hunt said. “Just to have it sold out is one less thing to worry about and we can really start focusing on the other events around the festival that haven’t yet sold out, but we’re optimistic they will.”
A sellout for the 2017 championship game is good news for the CFL after the Toronto Argonauts had trouble filling BMO Field for last year’s Grey Cup.
The Argonauts slashed ticket prices in an effort to fill the 35,000-seat facility, while TSN, the CFL’s television partner, offered its employees up to five free tickets for the marquee game between the Redblacks and Calgary Stampeders.
The CFL was also forced to stop a Pizza Pizza promotion offering Grey Cup tickets as part of a $29.99 package that also included a large three-topping pizza, 10 chicken wings, four cans of pop and two dipping sauces.
Regular-season play wraps up next week with the playoffs slated to kick off Nov. 12. The Redblacks are the defending Grey Cup champions.
“TD Place and Lansdowne have become a place to be,” Hunt said. “I just think it’s the whole experience. We’ve had good teams, we’re Grey Cup champions so I think all those things work in harmony.”
Tickets for the 105th Grey Cup are still available through secondary sellers like StubHub.