At the first down, a major gain: The league says the 108th Gray Cup game scheduled for Dec. 12 is expected to feature a full-capacity Tim Hortons field, with all fans fully vaccinated, and will provide the full first-class Gray Cup experience , including pre-match and half-time flyovers and entertainment on the top set. The capacity is set at 24,000 and no temporary seats will be added. Tickets go on sale next week for season ticket holders across the league, followed by general public sale starting October 26. (Tiger-Cat season ticket holders already have access to Gray Cup tickets.)
At the second down, an audible signal: Plans for Gray Cup Week this year are shifted due to limitations caused by the lingering effects of COVID-19 restrictions, which have had a huge impact on event planning and operations for the past 18 years month.
With just 59 days to go to the 108th Gray Cup, changes are needed, but the spirit of the Gray Cup will be alive and well in Hamilton in December, with tons of fun to be had at local bars and restaurants. And there will always be traditional CFL media events that support the game, including the arrival of the Gray Cup, the CFL awards, the Head Coaches Conference and the State of the Commissioner’s League. Plans for a major concert series and other large-scale fan events have been put on hold as Ontario still has capacity restrictions for indoor events with no seating and general admission.
More details on this year’s Gray Cup plan for Hamilton, including the unveiling of pre-game and halftime entertainment for the 108th Gray Cup game on December 12, will be announced soon.
On the third try, a surprise call and a huge scoring game: The CFL Board of Governors voted this week to award Hamilton the 2023 Gray Cup as well, so Hamilton will soon have another opportunity to implement his original Gray Cup plan for Tiger-Cat fans and their fellow fans of the CFL from across the country.
“We’ve worked closely with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and their colleagues across the country on this,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.
“It’s exciting, responsible and fair. It provides an exciting and comprehensive championship game experience for this year’s Gray Cup game, it responsibly modifies our plan for Gray Cup Week this year due to circumstances beyond our control, and it does not. It’s just to award Hamilton another Gray Cup in 2023, then Hamilton will have the opportunity to fully realize their bold and ambitious plans to host the Gray Cup, ”he said.
“Hamilton waited 25 years to host another Gray Cup. According to this plan, it will host two Gray Cups in three years. “
The 109th Gray Cup will be held in Saskatchewan in 2022 after that province’s plan to host the 2020 Gray Cup was canceled at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, CFL teams continue to battle for playoff spots and an opportunity to win the iconic Gray Cup trophy. The Edmonton Elks host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this Friday night. Saturday includes a double program with the Montreal Alouettes in Ottawa to face the REDBLACKS and the BC Lions who host the Calgary Stampeders.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders, Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who hope to become Hamilton’s first team to play a Gray Cup at their home stadium since 1972, will all return to action next week.