Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Blue hope to make $3-4 million hosting Cup

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11While there wasn't much news in the announcement -- that news has been widely expected for months and finally broke on Monday -- there was some nuggets of information that had not been previously announced:

-- The province will contribute $4 million towards the Bombers hosting the game, which is expected to generate as much as $100 million in economic impact.

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-- The stadium, which seats 33,500, will be expanded to hold 41,000 spectators.

-- Bombers CEO and president Wade Miller refused to say how much the Bombers paid the CFL for the hosting rights, but it's publicly known the Saskatchewan Roughriders paid about $4 million to host the 2013 Grey Cup. Miller said the team expects to earn a profit of $3-4 million hosting the game.

-- Miller said most of the events during Grey Cup Festival Week will be held at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, but there will also be events all week long at IGF. One of those other events at the stadium might be a Vanier Cup, the Canadian university championship, which in 2011 and 2012 was held in the same city and on the same weekend as the Grey Cup. Miller said discussions are still taking place about whether a Vanier Cup would fit into Winnipeg's 2015 plans. He did say, however, his preference would be for the university game to be held on a different weekend.

-- CFL commisioner Mark Cohon was asked about the state of the league's contract talks with the CFL players association, which broke off earlier this month but are expected to resume in April. The current collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of May.

Cohon said he's hopeful the next round of contract talks will be productive, but hinted the league isn't preparing to open the purse strings simply because they signed a record TV contract that kicks in this season.

"We're very transparent with our players. I've sat them down and taken them through the state of the league and where we are financially. I think the important thing is the context of where we are as a league now," said Cohon, citing all the new and improved stadiums around the league.

"It costs money to do these things and it's all about building sustainability and profitability over time ... It's not about revenues, it's about profitability...

"I think it's really important that people understand, that the players understand, that the fans understand that the league is getting stronger but still has a ways to go."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 27, 2014 D1

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