Vancouver to host 111th Grey Cup in 2024

Graphic courtesy: B.C. Lions

The Canadian Football League has announced that the B.C. Lions will play host to the 111th Grey Cup in November of 2024, in participation with the city of Vancouver and the province of British Columbia.

It will mark the 17th time that Vancouver has hosted Grey Cup festivities, the second-highest total behind only Toronto. BC Place will be the venue for the 10th time, its first championship since 2014.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to announce we’re bringing this iconic event to British Columbia,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement Thursday.

“The Lions’ bid was very strong. And it was buoyed by the tremendous excitement the team is generating across the province and the country.”

Since purchasing the club in August of 2021, new owner Amar Doman has shepherded the Lions to a resurgence, on and off the field.

The Lions averaged an attendance of 20,387 this season, an increase of 12.7 percent from 2019. The figure was buoyed by the 34,082 fans that attended B.C.’s home-opener against the Edmonton Elks on June 11, which also featured a live performance by popular band OneRepublic.

The team finished with a 12-6 record, their highest win total since 2016, and will play host to the West Semi-Final on Sunday, with strong ticket sales forcing BC Place to open the upper deck.

“On behalf of our entire organization, and Lions fans everywhere, I thank the CFL’s Board of Governors for entrusting us with the honour and privilege of hosting the Grey Cup, one of Canada’s biggest and most important events of any kind,” Doman said in a statement.

“We know we’ll have some very tough acts to follow, with Saskatchewan hosting this year’s Grey Cup in a few weeks, and Hamilton hosting in 2023. But we’re determined to deliver the greatest Grey Cup festival and, working with the CFL, the greatest game day in the history of the CFL, come 2024.”

The last Grey Cup in Vancouver drew a massive turnout, with 52,056 in the stands to witness the Calgary Stampeders defeat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2014. Three years earlier, 54,313 people turned out to watch the Lions defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at home in the 2011 Grey Cup.

“Vancouver will be a terrific host city for visitors and local residents to celebrate the Grey Cup, Canada’s unofficial national holiday,” B.C. premier John Horgan said as part of the announcement.

“Our fans are ready to celebrate, and there’s nothing like the sound of BC Place stadium packed to the rafters with cheering fans. I know the 2024 Grey Cup will be a roaring success for the CFL.”

“The Grey Cup in 2024 will be Canada’s celebration and we are so proud to have secured the right to host it here in Vancouver,” added City of Vancouver mayor-elect Ken Sim.

“Following the success of the B.C. Lions this year and our history of hosting Grey Cups, Vancouver is poised to take this celebration to the next level in 2024. Congratulations to all who brought this to life.”

The 109th Grey Cup game will be played on November 20 at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan. The 2023 game is scheduled to return to Hamilton, Ontario after pandemic restrictions minimized their hosting capacity in 2021.