Study shows total 2018 Grey Cup economic impact exceeding $81 million

Grey Cup festival kickoff: Geordie Macleod
WATCH: Grey Cup Festival spokesperson Geordie Macleod speaks with Lisa MacGregor live from the Grey Cup Pancake Breakfast at Olympic Plaza.

Hosting last year’s Grey Cup game paid off in spades for the city of Edmonton, according to a study released Tuesday by the CFL.

The study conducted by Sportcal — a sports market intelligence firm based in London, England — concluded the 106th Grey Cup game had a total economic impact of over $81 million.

WATCH: The countdown to the 107th Grey Cup Festival in Calgary is officially underway. As Lisa MacGregor reports, a free pancake breakfast is just a taste of the party planned before the 2019 championship game kicks off this fall.

Countdown to 107th Grey Cup kicks off with free pancake breakfast
Countdown to 107th Grey Cup kicks off with free pancake breakfast

READ MORE: Grey Cup 2018 organizers confident Edmonton festival met economic expectations: ‘Those numbers are there’

According to the study, over 430,000 people attended Grey Cup events in Edmonton throughout the week, including 55,819 who watched the Calgary Stampeders defeat the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 at Commonwealth Stadium.

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And 30,841 visitors from out of town spent $29 million during their stay in Edmonton.

WATCH: CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie and Mike Franco from the Calgary Stampeders speak with Lisa MacGregor and Matthew Conrod about November’s Grey Cup festivities in Calgary.

Grey Cup festival kickoff: Randy Ambrosie and Mike Franco
Grey Cup festival kickoff: Randy Ambrosie and Mike Franco

Over 93 per cent of attendees reported having a positive Grey Cup experience, according to the study. Two-thirds felt it was better than most of its predecessors.

“These impressive numbers are a testament to the support we received from the people of Edmonton and Alberta, the contributions made by our partners, the hard work of our staff and an army of volunteers and the power of the Grey Cup itself to attract Canadians from every corner of the country,” Brad Sparrow, the Edmonton Eskimos board chairman and co-chair of the ’18 Grey Cup festival committee, said in a statement.

READ MORE: Calgary invites Canadian football fans to ‘experience the energy’ at Grey Cup 2019

Other findings included:

  • The total economic impact of $81,146,423 was estimated to be a 6.6 per cent increase from the ’17 Grey Cup in Toronto.
  • A total of 381 accredited media gathered in Edmonton, an increase of 20 per cent over the previous year.
  • The Grey Cup game garnered a television audience of 3.3 million with a reach of 8.4 million.
  • Thirty per cent of all fans — and 58 per cent of those aged 19 to 34 — attended a Grey Cup event for the first time.

The 2019 Grey Cup Final will be played at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

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