With the Edmonton Eskimos set to host this year’s Grey Cup game next month, the Riders are setting their sights on hosting the 2020 CFL championship.
The Riders last hosted the Grey Cup in 2013 at old Mosaic Stadium. Tourism Regina estimates the championship and festivities pulled about $60 million in economic impact.
President and CEO Craig Reynolds told 620 CKRM on Monday that the Riders intend to bid for the championship game, in what would be the team’s 110th season.
“Timing with these things is really important, and I think the tie-in to our 110th anniversary is an important one,” Reynolds said. “If you remember in 2010, we celebrated our centennial, we had that year-long celebration, and we think we can duplicate and build on that in 2020.”
Reynolds also said he envisions building an Olympic-style ‘Grey Cup Village’ for fan celebrations.
“I’m really excited about this. We have the best fans in Canada, best stadium in Canada, best team in Canada and we put on really great Grey Cups so this would be wonderful to have in 2020,” Mayor Michael Fougere added Tuesday.
The Roughriders say a bid will be submitted to the league in early November, and Reynolds hopes to have an answer by the end of the year.
CJME Green Zone host Jamie Nye believes the team has a strong case- but there’s a high bar to meet.
“I don’t think you can top 2013. That was the number one moment in Rider history, period,” Nye said.
“The game was above and beyond everything- you think of the Riders hoisting the trophy at home… What a moment. Darian Durant’s climb to achieving what he always wanted, which was winning a Grey Cup for the Riders, but also to do it at home.”
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That said, there’s another team with a new field looking to host Canadian football’s top prize.
“Hamilton hasn’t hosted a grey cup since 1996, so if the Ti-Cats were able to put in a bid, I know the commissioner wants to get a grey cup back to Hamilton to serve a very good fan base there,” Nye added.
Calgary is hosting the 2019 championship.