It’s beginning to look more and more like the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will not host the 2014 Grey Cup but will wait a year later and attempt to secure the 2015 championship game.
A report in the Vancouver Province today suggests the Bombers are not in financial shape to host the 2014 game.
"With Ottawa unable to stage the game it was awarded in 2008 and no certainty of a rebuilt stadium in 2014 for Hamilton, the only other bid reportedly in the running at present is from Winnipeg, which is moving into a new facility this year, but is believed to have cost issues stemming from stadium construction," wrote veteran Province football reporter Lowell Ullrich.
Lions president Dennis Skulsky says the Lions are prepared to host the game and the other candidates, Ottawa, Hamilton and Winnipeg are unable to make it happen."This opportunity came up because of the number of teams putting up their hands," Skulsky said.
Bombers CEO Garth Buchko is out of town and was unable to comment; however, club spokesman Darren Cameron offered the following statement.
"No decision has been announced regarding the host city for the 2014 Grey Cup. I can tell you from the Winnipeg Blue Bomber perspective that any reports that suggest we wouldn’t be able to host the 2014 Grey Cup due to financial restrictions are incorrect. What is factual is that it is sometimes better for the overall status of the organization when you are dealing with a brand new facility, to work out the kinks and get fully acclimated to the new facility before hosting a major event such as the Grey Cup. But financial drawbacks on us possibly hosting in 2014 were not and are not a concern whatsoever. We are in a great financial position to host this event whenever it is appropriate for us to do so."
Scuttlebutt around the league is that the Lions will get the 2014 game with an upcoming announcement merely a formality.
CFL commissioner Mark Cohon promised Winnipeg a Grey Cup shortly after the opening of its new statement when the building project was formally announced.