The CFL has awarded back-to-back Grey Cups to Regina and Hamilton starting in 2020, setting off celebrations in two of the league’s most vibrant markets.
The league made the announcement live on TSN Thursday night as both the Riders and Ticats held parties in conjunction with the news.
In addition to keeping a lid on potential fan outrage, awarding both games gives the league and Hamilton plenty of time to ensure a successful event in the Southern Ontario city.
Saskatchewan last hosted a Grey Cup in 2013 defeating the Ticats 45-23 on home soil. Edmonton hosted in 2018 and Calgary is set for the 2019 game so the Regina event will be the third consecutive Grey Cup in western Canada.
The Grey Cup hasn’t been contested in Hamilton since 1996 when the Toronto Argonauts beat Edmonton — despite Eddie Brown catching a touchdown off his foot in the snow — in front of a sold out Ivor Wynne Stadium crowd of over 38,000.
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has said repeatedly that Hamilton was ready to host a Grey Cup. The CFL commish was part of a contingent from the Ticats that presented to Hamilton City council in January.
The 2021 event will be the first Grey Cup during Bob Young’s ownership of the Ticats – a reward of sorts for his stewardship of the club he has shepherded through some tough economic times. It will also be the first Grey Cup at Tim Hortons Field, the stadium that opened in 2015 but has been plagued by delays and lawsuits that prevented the CFL’s showcase event from coming to the city,
The Regina Grey Cup in 2020 will mark the first championship game for the new Mosaic Stadium, the $278 million football showcase that debuted in 2017. It will also be a chance for Riderville – one of the league’s most passionate fanbases – to hold another week-long, football-centric party.