Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Grey Cup in Hamilton in 2016

There's certainly still a lot to say about the new stadium, however one positive is that the new stadium is supposedly expandable to 40,000 seats. That is apparently large enough to host a Grey Cup, which the city hasn't since 1996 and 1972 before that. The configuration of the stadium with the open end zones may be that way to facilitate the temporary bleachers to get to 40K.

With the stadium to be built in time for the 2014 season (hopefully), and only the 2013 Grey Cup awarded, that leaves a lot of possibilities. There's pretty much no way Hamilton could host the 2014 event, with the most important that construction delays could cause problems. The 2015 is a possibility, but that is the same year as the Pan Am games and only three years after the Toronto Grey Cup. Likely 2016 is the first possible year and 20 years after the 1996 Cup.

However Ottawa now looks likely to be back in the CFL and will also want to be hosting a Grey Cup. Whether Ottawa is far enough away that back to back cups in Hamilton and Ottawa wouldn't be an issue is an open question. 

Getting a Cup quickly could smooth over some of the resentments over the new stadium and getting the Cats on a schedule of hosting it every eight years would be a boon to the city. The 1996 Cup had difficulties selling out the stadium, however the Ticats organization is considerably more dynamic now then back then. More people likely travel to the Cup now than back in 1996. If Saskatchewan gets in, then a sellout is likely guaranteed just from ex-pats and diehards travelling from the prairies.

This is all speculation, but again, the new stadium allows the Cats to host a Grey Cup.

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