Cha Gheill: Queen’s University to host Vanier Cup in 2023 and 2024

Photo courtesy: Queen's Athletics

The Vanier Cup will take place at Richardson Memorial Stadium in Kingston, Ont. for the next two seasons, after Queen’s University was announced as host for the U Sports national championship game in 2023 and 2024.

The 58th Vanier Cup will be held on Saturday, November 25, 2023. It marks the first Canadian university football title game played in the city of Kingston since 1929 and the first-ever Vanier Cup. Only seven cities have previously hosted the event since its inception in 1956, including Toronto, Quebec City, Hamilton, London, Montreal, Saskatoon, and Vancouver.

“U SPORTS is thrilled to partner with Queen’s University to present this 58th edition of the Vanier Cup,” U Sports’ chief sport officer Lisette Johnson-Stapley said in a statement. “Kingston is one of Canada’s premier university sports cities, and Queen’s has a long track history of hosting great U SPORTS championships. We know that the teams and fans travelling to the 2023 Vanier Cup will have a memorable experience, and we can’t wait for kickoff on Nov. 25!”

Queen’s University was established in 1841 and its athletic department dates to 1873, with its football program beginning on October 11, 1882. The Golden Gaels have won four Vanier Cups (1968, 1978, 1992, 2009), three Grey Cups (1922, 1923, 1924) and 30 provincial championships.

“Queen’s University is delighted to be hosting the Vanier Cup in 2023 and 2024,” university principal Patrick Deane said as part of the statement. “Queen’s is home to many traditions, and among our most beloved and celebrated is Queen’s Football, which dates back to 1882. We look forward to welcoming the student-athletes and coaches, as well as fans from across the country to Richardson Stadium, our campus, and city.”

Dating from 1921, Richardson Memorial Stadium re-opened in 2016 after extensive renovations. It seats over 8,000 people, though no official capacity number is publicly available. Last year’s Vanier Cup in London, Ont. drew a crowd of 8,420 as the Laval Rouge et Or defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies.

“Queen’s Athletics & Recreation is thrilled to be awarded the 58th and 59th Vanier Cups. In tandem with the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championships and the 2024 U SPORTS Men’s Volleyball Championships, we are looking forward to our campus and city becoming a hub for the best student-athletes in Canada,” said Queen’s Athletics and Recreation executive director Linda Melnick.

“When the revitalization of Richardson Stadium began in 2014, the vision was for a venue capable of bringing the Vanier Cup to Kingston, and with the completion of the Lang Pavilion this summer we feel there’s no better stadium in Canada to host this championship. We are incredibly grateful to our community partners within the City of Kingston, the support of the National and Provincial football organizations, Queen’s University and our own Queen’s Football program for their support of our bid. We are excited to welcome fans and alumni from across Canada to Richardson Stadium for a celebration of Canadian Football in November 2023 and 2024.”

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The new Vanier Cup championship logo for the event features historic Kingston City Hall. The building, completed in 1844, was built to reflect the city’s status as the capital of the Province of Canada from 1861 to 1864 and is a national historic site.

The 2023 Vanier Cup will be broadcast on CBC Television and TVA Sports. It will also be available on both broadcasters’ digital platforms.