December 9, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
IT'S official: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the City of Winnipeg and the province will team up to bid for (and almost certainly get) a Grey Cup hosting gig.
Though it was well-known the Winnipeg Football Club was gunning to host the Grey Cup at the new Investors Group Field, on Thursday the club announced it will indeed lobby the CFL for a chance to host the championship game in 2015 or 2016. This follows Vancouver's turn as Grey Cup host in 2014 and Regina's this year.
Winnipeg has hosted the Grey Cup three times, most recently in 2006. Each time the hosting gig was supported by grants from the province and the city, which will factor in again this time around. Such grants are typical for CFL hosting bids across the league, the club said.
In a release, CFL commissioner Mark Cohon sounded amenable to the idea.
"I know our board of governors looks forward to bringing this Canadian icon to the great fans of the Blue Bombers and all of the people of Manitoba," he said. "Staging this first class event in a city and a stadium that are truly second to none is a very exciting prospect."
If (or when) Winnipeg is selected as a Grey Cup destination, Investors Group Field will need some tweaks to prepare it to be full of Grey Cup fans and media. The club plans to increase the amount of seating to 41,000, up from the current 33,500, and space for media to work and conduct press conferences would need to be eked out within the stadium's guts.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 1, 2013 C4