The Grey Cup has touched down in Hamilton.
The CFL’s championship trophy arrived at Bayfront Park on Tuesday morning, delivered in a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffon helicopter.
CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie also arrived by chopper saying: “if you ever want to get from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum to this park, I would strongly suggest a helicopter.”
Several dozen fans gathered for the cup’s arrival, the first in a series of events leading up to Sunday’s Grey Cup between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Tim Horton’s Field.
The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the CFL’s 2020 season, so the Blue Bombers will be trying to defend their 2019 league championship.
The Tiger-Cats are hoping to claim their first title since 1999.
“The party starts today”, said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “We look forward to a fantastic game on Sunday.”
“Being here is a testimony to our resilience”, added Ambrosie. “In this city, it’s a testimony to your toughness, as well.”
It’s been 25 years since Hamilton last hosted the Grey Cup in 1996. Prior to that it was 1972.
“Who you’re seeing today is 12-year-old Bob Young”, said Hamilton Tiger Cats Owner Bob Young, “as excited as I was in 72.”
“How much better does it get for a community, for a league, for our players, than to play at home in the Grey Cup in Hamilton,” added Young.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were scheduled to fly into Hamilton’s airport late Tuesday afternoon.