Hamilton “ready” for Grey Cup but must win bid process first: Ambrosie

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie says a Grey Cup is coming to Hamilton – but only once it wins the bidding process now in place for the event.

Ambrosie held his annual state of the league address as part of the Grey Cup festivities in Edmonton on Friday and said now that the litigation over Tim Hortons Field has been resolved, the league plans on hosting the event in Hamilton where it hasn’t been held since 1996.

“I think they are ready to host the Grey Cup and we want them to have a Grey Cup,” Ambrosie said.

In early November, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats made a presentation to the CFL’s Grey Cup subcommittee as part of a multi-step bid process to determine who will host 2020’s prestigious — and lucrative — championship. They are one of three teams in the running, including the Montreal Alouettes and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“We’ve had three presentations for the 2020 game and they were remarkable,” Ambrosie said. “We had hoped to have a decision on 2020 today but we couldn’t because the bids were so amazing that we had to go back and revisit them.”

Ambrosie team owner Bob Young and CEO Scott Mitchell have embraced the bid process, which replaced an ad-hoc system that featured little planning or oversight.

“The city of Hamilton is going through this amazing renaissance, the city is changing dramatically. In some ways it’s not the old Hamilton that people might have thought about, there’s this whole revitalization that’s happened there and that’s part of the story that Scott and Bob are telling,” Ambrosie said.

“Nobody wants to short-circuit the bidding process because they believe it’s so important to the future of the Grey Cup. But I know from what I’ve observed there’s little or no doubt in my mind that Hamilton is going to get its turn at a Grey Cup and it is going to be the next greatest Grey Cup in the history of our league.”

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