Grey Cup Festival ticket sales heat up in Edmonton: ‘We’re about 75% sold’
In just over a month, Edmonton will “Bring the Heat” when the Grey Cup Festival comes to town, and ticket sales are hot.
“I would start looking at what you want to go to quickly and check that out,” festival executive director Duane Vienneau said.
If you were hoping to attend the CFL Awards on the Thursday of Grey Cup weekend, you’re out of luck. The awards, the Saturday morning Spirit of Edmonton Breakfast and the Sunday indoor tailgate party featuring country star Aaron Pritchett are sold out.
Several of the other ticketed events are also selling well.
“If we’re not sold out, we’re selling really well and probably at a minimum we’re about 75 per cent sold.”
This includes the Friday morning Spirit of Edmonton Breakfast, the Friday night Grey Cup Gala, the Saturday night triple header concert and the Sunday outdoor tailgate party headlined by The Trews.
Game tickets aside, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $125 for the various Grey Cup Festival events.
The chair of the Spirit of Edmonton committee says he and 16 other volunteers started planning their two breakfasts and nightly parties 18 months ago.
“We call it a breakfast because we have to call it something, but it’s just a crazy amount of fun,” Gerry Haracsi said.
Each CFL team will have a cabaret-style event either inside, or walking distance from the Shaw Conference Centre. While sellouts are not a concern for those parties, guests will be paying a cover charge at each event.
But the diehard CFL fans know, it’s the nighttime shakers where you find the wildest celebrations.
“The Spirit of Edmonton is just the place to come and be yourself and celebrate Canadiana at the best party in Canada,” Haracsi said.
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There’s plenty of free stuff to enjoy as well, according to Vienneau, and planning ahead will help you see it all.
“You might need a couple of days to take it all in, but we wanted to do that,” Vienneau continued. “Our overall footprint is about four times larger than the last time we were hosting Grey Cup.”
Free activities include a zip line stretching from east of the Shaw Conference Centre into the river valley, an artificial snow ski hill and tube ride on Jasper Avenue and a bungee jump attraction. There will also be daily free outdoor concerts surrounded by sponsor-driven activities.
The company Neveplast will be supplying the ski hill and tube ride, shown here in use in Italy.
Vienneau is encouraging Edmontonians to come out to kick things off on the Wednesday night before Grey Cup.
“You’ll have first crack to go on those attractions… we’ll have the cup there, the commissioner will kick it all off and we’ll have a little surprise too.”
And while it’s too late to apply to be in the Grey Cup parade, it’s still going to be a big one. One hundred entries will march through downtown celebrating Canadian football, and the start of the festive season in Edmonton.
Haracsi says if you haven’t started planning your Grey Cup weekend yet, there’s no better time than now.
“There’s so much planned for everybody, whether you want to bring your kids down or you want to stay with your adult friends in the evening in the hospitality rooms, it’s just going to be a fantastic event.”
The Grey Cup game on Sunday, Nov. 25 had about 2,000 tickets left for sale as of Oct. 16.
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