The 2014 Grey Cup game will be played in Ottawa, Sun Media has learned.
But first, of course, the national's capital has to have a team in the CFL.
"When we got our conditional franchise, we were awarded a Grey Cup," confirmed Jeff Hunt, frontman of the Ottawa group that has until March to complete its mission of bringing pro football back to Lansdowne Park. "I think with everything that happened around then, the Grey Cup component might have been overlooked.
Or clever strategizing. With the budget woes the city is facing and the Grey Cup story slipping out this week of all weeks (great timing all around BTW), the Hunt Group's proposal should be sounding better and better to City Council as each day goes by. The Grey Cup brought in millions to the city back in 2004 from the one event alone. I believe when Watters brought the Renegades to Ottawa, he negotiated hosting the Grey Cup in Ottawa as part of the deal.
The city is desperately trying to find ways to pay the bills these days, and the Lansdowne Live proposal is a fantastic way of pumping more money into Ottawa, let alone bringing enjoyment to its residents at the same time.
That's more or less what I meant by kept under wraps. There's no way that this ia detail that they forgot to mention at the announcement of a conditional franchise.
Cohon: "So that went well...Say, why didn't you say anything about the 2014 Grey Cup?"
Hunt: "Crap!! I totally forgot about the Grey Cup!!"
From the time of their original proposal, these guys have done a fairly nice job of remaining in the public eye a little bit despite not having a whole lot to say. No doubt in my mind that they timing of this was totally planned.
I agree, they kept the Grey Cup in their pocket so they could sweeten the deal once the inevitable foot dragging/Glebite whining began.
Hunt & Co. have done everything they can do so that the city council will have to say no to a free refurbished stadium, increased tax revenues and the biggest one day event in Canada. They might say no thanks to the free stadium or the Grey Cup, but will they say no to $$$? The Toronto Sun reported that 28,500 people visited Toronto to attend the 2007 Grey Cup and $18 million in taxes was generated.
Good work. Maybe once the CFL is up and running in Ottawa, Halifax can hire him to work some magic out here too!
Another possibility that comes to mind, though I don't want to get my hopes up too much, is that they were reluctant to say anything in case the whole thing went to pot. They wouldn't want another situation like the Touchdown Atlantic cancellation if they announced the 2014 Grey Cup back in March but had to withdraw it later because Clive Doucet had his way.
This could be seen as a good sign that they are optimistic about then end result.