The 2022 Vanier Cup game will be played where the trophy currently resides, as U Sports has announced next year’s Canadian university football title game will be played at Western Alumni Stadium, home of the 2021 champion Western Mustangs.
The event will mark the first time that the Vanier Cup has been played at Western University in London, Ontario.
“It’s just wonderful to be hosting the Vanier Cup,” Western University president Alan Shepard said in a statement. “We’re excited for the opportunity to celebrate Western’s proud football tradition, showcase all the great things our University and city have to offer, and welcome fans from near and far to the newly renovated Western Alumni Stadium featuring a newly upgraded playing surface, LED lighting and seating for over ten thousand spectators.”
The 2022 Vanier Cup partnership is an extension of a collaboration between U Sports, Western University, and The City of London that will also see the city host the 2023 FISU World University Rowing Championships next July.
“U SPORTS is thrilled to partner with the City of London, Tourism London and Western University to present this 57th edition of the Vanier Cup,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U Sports’ chief sport officer. “London and Western offer the participating teams and fans outstanding accommodations, restaurants and sports facilities. We know guests travelling to the 2022 Vanier Cup will have a memorable experience, and we can’t wait for kickoff on Nov. 26!”
The 2022 Vanier Cup championship logo was also unveiled on Thursday. The logo incorporates a local landmark into the visual identity of the championship, prominently featuring the Middlesex Memorial Tower at University College, a century-old monument dedicated to the fallen Canadian service people from Middlesex County who died in the First World War.
“Hosting the Vanier Cup is a proud moment for Western and the Western Mustangs, but also a recognition of the incredible support we receive from our Mustangs Alumni, the London Beefeaters, the Junior Mustangs, our sponsors, and the London community,” said Christine Stapleton, director of sports & recreation at Western. “Partnering with U Sports and Tourism London, we will all work together to make this a fantastic event for our entire community.”
The Mustangs are coming off a 2021 season where they returned to action after the pandemic and won the 56th Vanier Cup, defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies 27-21. Western University has made a record 15 appearances in the championship game, winning eight titles.
“Hosting an event of this calibre continues to highlight London as a premier sport hosting destination in Canada while also providing a significant economic impact to our community. We look forward to showcasing London’s history and passion for football as we welcome fans for the 2022 Vanier Cup,” said Zanth Jarvis, director of sport tourism with Tourism London.
“The Vanier Cup is a great event and one of the premier athletic events in Canada,” said Mustangs’ head coach Greg Marshall. “The London football community is very strong and I believe one of the best grassroots football regions in the country. With the extensive, recent upgrades to our football stadium, Western will be a great venue to host this event and ensure that it is a great experience for the participating teams.”
The 2022 Vanier Cup is a showdown between the Uteck and Mitchell Bowl national semi-finals winners on November 19. The Mitchell Bowl pits the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) Dunsmore Cup champions against the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Yates Cup champions. At the same time, the Uteck Bowl will see Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Jewett Trophy winners host the Canada West (CW) Hardy Cup champions.
The two top teams will then head to London for a November 26 championship clash.