WINNIPEG — Could the Ottawa RedBlacks and Edmonton Eskimos play in front of empty seats for Sunday’s Grey Cup?
While the CFL is projecting a sell-out by the end of the week, as of Monday afternoon, it said there are approximately 1,000 seats yet to be sold. On secondary market websites like Kijiji and Stubhub, hundreds of tickets can be found selling at less than face value.
Robert Warren, an economic analyst says part of the demand may be dampened by one team’s fanbase. The downturn in Alberta’s economy does not encourage Edmonton’s fan base to shell out big bucks for travel, hotels and tickets.
“Because of the downturn in the oil patch. If you haven’t lost your job and a lot of people have, you’re now worried about it,” Warren said.
An Ottawa RedBlacks fan, Jesse William Westwell is not backing down a trip despite what could be chilly temperatures.
“I know I won’t have a voice and I know I’ll be freezing my butt off in Winnipeg but it’s going to be well worth it,” Westwell said.
Tourism Winnipeg said there is still great economic benefit for the city. Economic Development Winnipeg estimates 28,000 visitors to bring in $85.5 million over the weekend.
The demand for accommodations remains as over 80 per cent of hotel rooms have been booked.
Kickoff for the Grey Cup is 5 p.m. on Sunday.