Published on April 23, 2008 9:38 PM by dbo.
Today the Canadian Football League announced that Calgary, Alberta has been named host of the 2009 Grey Cup game. The game will be played at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium. CFL commissioner Mark Cohon made the official announcement in Calgary and Calgary Stampeders president Scott Ackles was on hand to unveil the official logo of the 2009 Grey Cup. Also present were Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier and Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach to support the announcement. Malcolm Kirk was announced as the 2009 Calgary Grey Cup Championship and Festival Chairman and Greg Albrecht as the Festival President.
In the Canadian Press coverage of the news conference, Calgary Stampeders’ managing partner Ted Hellard stated temporary seating will be brought in for the championship game to increase capacity to “around 45,000″. It appears the mid-40 thousand mark is what host cities that require temporary seating are now aiming for. The reason may be to restrict ticket availability, allowing a greater premium to be put on ticket prices and to ensure not only a sell-out, but an appearance of packed stands, while still making a tidy profit with less risk. I counter that a progressive and growing city such as Calgary should be able to support an attendance of 50,000 and shooting any lower is a disservice to the Grey Cup. In a gate driven league, when they have one chance a year to showcase the league’s fan support and dispel the stereotype of a small fan base, the CFL and it’s member clubs should do all they can to make the Grey Cup a true showcase.
Another note of interest is the date of the 2009 championship, November 29. Curious, because the 2008 Grey Cup championship game to be played at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec is slated for November 23, not November 30 as you would expect, since Olympic Stadium is an indoor facility. I am in favour of a consistent Grey Cup date on the last Sunday of November, so the 2009 date is welcome to me.