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What Vancouver Could Do For the 2024 Grey Cup 

With the 2022 Grey Cup soon to be in Regina, Saskatchewan, we will see a location which resembles the spirit of Canadian football. 

In 2023, the annual football championship will be held back in Hamilton, Ontario. Only this time, The City of Hamilton will be staging a full-scale Grey Cup as it was downsized last year in 2021 due to the current pandemic. Hamilton still did a great job in hosting the Grey Cup all things considered as it was the first season back from the cancelled 2020 season. 

So, when it was announced on Thursday, November 3rd, 2022 that Vancouver will be awarded the 2024 Grey Cup, I thought only positives out of this. I thought that they will restore a market in which struggling attendance problems were the norm as it is also in the other two big cities in both Montreal and Toronto respectively.  

Since Mr. Amar Doman took control of the BC Lions in August 2021, he has made strides in making the BC Lions relevant again in Vancouver, British Columbia.  

From branding the BC Lions logo and advertising the club throughout the Vancouver area and suburban areas, attendance has been better. And it will only get better as the club gets better over time. Having said that, going into the 2024 season, it does not hurt to advertise it as far as the Seattle, Washington area. There are a lot of BC residents that make the trip to Seattle for NFL games. It could be the opposite also with fans in Washington state attending more games in Vancouver. 

So now that you have a young team that is currently in the West Final this Sunday vs the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, let’s fast forward to 2024 on how the City of Vancouver has a chance to host a Grey Cup and take it to a whole new level. 

BRING BACK THE VANIER CUP 

Simply put, ever since the Vanier Cup has not been part of Grey Cup Week, it has not been the same. Still to this day, I cannot understand why it was decided to separate this great football tradition from the Grey Cup. 

It was last played at the SkyDome (I don’t call it Rogers Centre, I call it SkyDome) back in 2012 during the 100th Grey Cup.  

The year prior in 2011, it was at BC Place Stadium. And it was a beauty with McMaster beating Laval 41-38 in the 2nd overtime. Attendance was pretty strong as well where it was attended just shy of 25,000 fans. 

I’m not saying by any stretch that other schools and or cities should not host it. Far from it. But when you have it on the same site as the Grey Cup, it adds to more of the celebration of football in Canada. Because after all, that is what the Grey Cup is all about. It’s a pilgrimage of fans from all four corners of the country attending the annual spectacle along with our friends south of the 49th parallel. 

Why stop there? 

What about on Saturday before the Vanier Cup, you have the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) final. You can have that game at 11 am local time. At 3 pm you have the Vanier Cup. 

And why stop there? 

On Friday, you can have the High School Provincial Football Championships. Have a day where it’s also Women’s Football Championships along with Youth Football Championships.  

With that said, I’m only getting started here. Here is something for you. There is a football fanatic that works for ESPN and has been a staple for many years. TSN has had a long good relationship with ESPN. 

The one I’m about to mention has been a fan of the Canadian game. He brings a lot of passion to the game of football, and his presence resonates among all fans. 

GET CHRIS BERMAN TO BE PART OF THE 2024 GREY CUP 

Without a doubt, Chris Berman has been an advocate for the CFL. His first and only attended game was during the Labour Day Classic in Hamilton, Ontario when it was the first game played at the new Tim Horton’s Field on Monday, September 1st, 2014. He was also accompanied by the late great Toronto’s own John Saunders. Another great human being who we, unfortunately, lost on August 10th, 2016. 

Chris Berman stated in the past that he always wanted to do a Grey Cup. But scheduling conflicts have not made this possible. 

TSN and ESPN can make this work. Make this happen. It would be amazing to see Chris Berman being part of the panel along with Glen Suitor, Dustin Neilson, Kate Beirness, Rod Smith, Matt Dunigan, and Milt Stegall to name a few.  

On October 10th, 2011 when Anthony Calvillo broke the All-Time passing record in the CFL, Chris Berman did a segment on ESPN. He also did part of it speaking in French. In that segment, he praised Anthony Calvillo (at the time) for soon being the All-Time Passing Leader in all of Pro Football. 

It was an absolute class of gesture towards the CFL. 

Chris Berman on Anthony Calvillo

Then again, who would not want to hear Chris Berman doing his famous quotes in the heat of the moment? 

“He could go all the way”! 

“Nobody circles the wagon like the Buffalo Bills” 

Even when he speaks in gibberish like: 

“A wop a pop a wop a pop a wop a pop” during and fumble of a miscue. 

But I’m not stopping here. There is still more to cover 

GET VANCOUVER AND BRITISH COLUMBIA CELEBRITIES TO BE HONOURARY AMBASSADORS  

There will be no shortage of talent on this one. This is a no-brainer. Let’s start with some of the best. Get Ryan Reynolds. He’s a big football fan. He’s been a BC Lions fan since he was a kid. And he still is. One of the best photos was of him along with Will Ferrell at SoFi Stadium last year in Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, California. Will Ferrell was rocking BC Lions gear. 

Will Ferrell Wearing BC Lions Gear

With that said, as a bonus, get Will Ferrell to Vancouver as the character of Ron Burgundy. He’s done it before promoting the Canadian Curling Championships in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2013.   

Ron Burgundy

Other notables to include are Seth Rogan, Josua Jackson, Jason Priestley, and Michael J Fox. 

I’ll never forget when I was watching the great BC Lions kicker Lui Passaglia playing his last game. Michael J. Fox did a thank you speech for Lui that was shown on the jumbotron at BC Place Stadium via Los Angeles.  

But again, I’m not stopping here also. 

GET BRITISH COLUMBIA-BORN ARTIST TO PERFORM DURING GREY CUP WEEK 

There will be no shortage of this one also. Some can also do the Halftime Show. You can include Michael Buble, Loverboy, Chilliwack, 54-40, and Bryan Adams. All of them succeed in the music world. 

In the end, there is no doubt that Amar Doman will make this the biggest and best that the City of Vancouver has ever hosted a Grey Cup. He can make this a benchmark on how you host a Grey Cup going forward. He is innovative and has a great vision to make the BC Lions a well-supported club going into the future.  

Be sure to join our CFL Discord server and connect with other CFL fans.

Dino Sepe has been an avid sports fan since he was 9 years old. He has read multiple books regarding sports history from various past eras from the origins of the game, to great dynasties, great coaches, and great players. Dino does carry an experience in writing through Humber Theater in which he studied Theater Performance. As an avid football fan, and follows the NFL, CFL, and NCAA along with USports Canadian University Football. Dino is proud to be part of the CFL News Hub contributing team, and looks forward to being part of the CFL News Hub covering the Edmonton Elks team going into the future.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. A Szoke

    November 8, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    I like your ideas. BC should put on quite a show.

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