The Ontario government is investing up to $3 million through the Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster Program to support the return of the Grey Cup championship game to Hamilton.
The funding includes $1.5 million for the 108th Grey Cup game on December 12 and $1.5 million for the 110th Grey Cup and Grey Cup Festival in 2023. The investment will help support costs associated with hosting the games, create jobs, boost local tourism and have an overall positive economic impact on the province.
“With its support for the 108th and 110th Grey Cups, Ontario is backing one of Canada’s greatest traditions and largest sporting events. But the government is also making a smart and strategic investment in tourism, hospitality and the economy,” commissioner Randy Ambrosie said.
“Studies have pegged the economic impact of all the activity from the Grey Cup game and surrounding events at between $80 million and $100 million. Ontario is recognizing that Grey Cup is more than great fun — it’s good business.”
Minister of Sport Lisa MacLeod was joined by Scott Mitchell, CEO of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough—Glanbrook, and Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton, at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton for the official announcement.
“Supporting iconic sport tourism events like the Grey Cup delivers substantial benefits, like new jobs, while stimulating both the local and provincial economies,” said Minister MacLeod. “It is exciting to welcome the championship back to the province twice in three seasons – to bring people together safely, showcase the Ontario spirit and give visitors a chance to experience all this province has to offer.”
The 108th and 110th Grey Cup games will be hosted by the Ticats at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. In addition to the game, this funding will support traditional CFL media events, including the Grey Cup Arrival, CFL Awards, Head Coaches Conference and community events.
“The Grey Cup is this country’s largest annual sporting event and we’re extremely excited to have the opportunity to host such a prestigious Canadian tradition right here in Hamilton in both 2021 and 2023,” Mitchell said. “This wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Ontario government, and we can’t wait to celebrate with them and the rest of our partners and loyal CFL fans from across the country at Tim Hortons Field.”
“My hometown of Hamilton has been preparing for this year’s Grey Cup festivities for months and can’t wait to showcase its community pride to a national audience,” said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough—Glanbrook. “This investment will generate economic growth and deliver substantial benefits to Hamilton and the Golden Horseshoe.”
The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster program supports municipalities and organizations in Ontario to host large-scale events in Ontario. This support is part of an historic investment of nearly $50 million in Ontario’s festival and event sector through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program.