Fans will notice a different atmosphere at this year’s Grey Cup. The CFL has decided to take a step in a different direction in comparison to other leagues such as the NFL. The CFL had a serious issue in 2016 in Toronto where the lowest ticket prices were $169-$199 and went as high as $899. Those type of prices were unheard of for the Grey Cup and the 2016 Grey Cup had difficulty selling out because of the price gouging. The Grey Cup is done with the days of money grabs, they are invested in creating an incredible fan experience for the host city so they can grow the sport and become a homestead in Canada.
Len Rhodes, the 2018 Grey Cup co-chairman and Eskimos’ chief executive had this to say about this year’s Grey Cup. “Right from the start, it’s going to be about making it the best event possible. We want to make sure we do things right. Season seat holders will be able to buy their Grey Cup tickets starting at $99 to $299,” That is great news for CFL fans all across Canada and abroad because they will be able to get their tickets at a much cheaper cost than the average cost of a Grey Cup game. The CFL seems to be determined to create an incredible fan experience that will rival all other championship experiences in leagues all over the world.
“It wasn’t all about the profit when we came to the table,” Len Rhodes also had to say. “We knew we could milk it and deliver more profit. But it wasn’t about the profit. It was about the Grey Cup Festival. We decided we wanted to think long term and how do we turn this property into the golden gem?” The CFL is invested in the long term growth of the Grey Cup and the CFL in general which is great news for CFL fans all over the world as they still have to compete with the NFL as the other premier football league in the world.
Brad Sparrows had this to add, “We want to set the new bar. We’re excited. We know if we set the bar high, even higher than the last time, the financials will work themselves out,” he said. “Edmonton is an amazing place. There is no surprise that this city has the largest 50-50s, for both the Eskimos and Oilers games, in the entire world of sports. That’s who we are. They’re going to come out. We had 1,000 volunteers in 2010, and we know they’ll be there for us again.”
“We have to give them the opportunity to have some fun and participate. Every venue. The game. Every activity. The festival. We’re going to work our hardest to set that new level. Our ticket strategy is a sellout strategy. We want to sell out the building. So they’ll be affordable. This is Edmonton.”
“We have some planning to do. We brought in Duane Vienneau and we’re very excited.” This is incredible news for CFL news, they are not only planning for this year’s Grey Cup, they are planning on making every Grey Cup affordable for fans all over Canada so they can travel from wherever and afford to enjoy all of the experiences that they want to.
“It can’t belong to one city. It can’t belong in any given year to one team. It has to be an asset in any given year that everybody contributes to. The league has to own Grey Cup,” said Ambrosie. This quote is incredible, it shows that the CFL and host cities are dedicated to building the Grey Cup into an incredibly profitable brand that will benefit the host city, the fan, and the teams that compete in the Grey Cup.
One thing is for sure, this year’s Grey Cup will be one for the ages. There will be plenty of festivities for fans of all ages and plenty of great interactions with current and past CFL players. The entire week is planned out with incredible events and fun that the entire city of Edmonton will be able to enjoy and it will provide a great economic stimulus to the city at a small cost to the city. The CFL will continue to grow and be a great league if they focus on their fans and not the profits.