CFL wants $12-million from feds for 100th Grey Cup

From the Globe and Mail :

CFL Wants $12 Million From the Feds for 100th Grey Cup

The CFL would like the federal government to become a partner in the 100th Grey Cup – by contributing $12-million to what the league calls a national celebration of Canadian football in 2012.

“$12-million is a modest amount in terms of money made available for cultural events,? said Chris Rudge, chief executive officer of the 2012 Grey Cup festival. “If we can get $12-million, we’ve got some pretty exciting events for all Canadians to participate in.

“It would allow us to expand the number of events held within the city, concerts and involve the entire cultural community, things that happen in Caribana or Gay Pride. And we want to see this done across the country as well, and see more people come to Toronto and rally the way we saw people rally around the [Olympic] Games in Vancouver.?

Rudge, former CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee, will appear before the House of Commons finance committee in Ottawa on Wednesday, along with CFL commissioner Mark Cohon, former Toronto Argonauts great Michael Clemons and former Montreal Alouettes great Pierre Vercheval.

Toronto will play host to the 100th Grey Cup game in November of 2012. The Argonauts are owned by Senator David Braley, a long-time CFL owner who was appointed to his parliamentary post last spring.

Federal subsidies for professional sporting events have not always been an easy sell. And while the CFL has rarely been flush with cash, its championship celebration in recent years has netted a profit in the range of $3-million to $5-million for the host.

The federal government has been more willing to support so-called amateur sporting events such as the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and the 2015 Pan American Games in the Greater Toronto Area, to which Ottawa has committed more than $400-million.

But Rudge believes the 100th Grey Cup celebration has value beyond the CFL’s bottom line.

“It’s the single biggest cultural event in Canada and something we’d like to share with the country, not just the local community,? Rudge said. “The Olympic experience taught a lot of us what major sporting events can do to transform our country and our communities and we’re taking those lessons to the 100th Grey Cup.?

The CFL delivered a brief to the finance committee in August, stating its desire to involve the federal government in its Grey Cup celebration. When Rudge, Cohon, Clemons and Vercheval go to Parliament Hill on Wednesday, they will bring along the Grey Cup to help stir up emotion in a city where the league hasn’t had a presence since the Ottawa Renegades folded before the 2006 season.

“I don’t think there’s precedent,? Rudge said, “but I think there’s a good reason for [the government] to engage in this in an ongoing basis so we can make it a bigger Canadian celebration. This can be a catalyst to help reflect on what we value and bring us together the way we did in the streets of Vancouver.?

I don't think the Government of Canada needs to subsidize Grey Cup. All it is going to do is grease the money hungry convention centers while they charge us $9 a beer or $8.75 a highball. I'm sure the intention is to increase awareness in the city of Toronto but it should not take $12 million, last time all it took was about 15,000 Rider fans.

Seriously though, this will be my tenth Cup in a row and every year things seem to get a little more restrictive. Calgary with the massive amount of security out and about (all off duty cops charging top dollar) at a festival that has never once had any kind of unruly disturbance that merits such security. Please Grey Cup committees of the future do not waste your money and our time with such excess (kind of like the massive security budget for the meetings in Toronto) the people who go to Grey cup police themselves, we are friendly folk who like to party, have a good time, and then go home and pine for the next one.

Go Riders.

For something this historic and significant in terms of Canadian culture, a milestone, I think $12 mill is not too much. It's a Canadian iconic milestone. How much did the feds give to Quebec's 400th anniversary? This would surely be a fraction of that, which is fine, but a fraction well worth it I'd say.

Man, is there anything going on in the sporting world right now that doesn't involve trying to get taxpayers to foot the bill?

I have a feeling the government wont want to get involved in this...
Having said that 12 million for the 100th Grey Cup is peanuts. The federal government sneezes and spends more money.
Plenty of other cultural instituations receive money, why should the CFL be any different?

Let's be clear here, the Grey Cup is the Grey Cup and it's just the CFL that now has rights to the Cup and championship. So if Amateur Football Canada or whatever it's called held the rights, then it's still a major cultural milestone the 100th. So I don't think it should be viewed upon as a professional sports league rolling in dollars is asking for some money, heck we know the CFL isn't rolling in any huge dough anyways.

It's a Canadian celebration, if part of this money goes to bringing in some kids football teams at halftime from across the country, then that's a good thing, or a music group from other parts of the country etc.

There is a part of me that thinks the Grey Cup should be "owned" by some sort of independent Canadian cultural institution to be quite honest. But that's a whole different topic.

Or a catalyst for another G20 given that it is in TO.

That attidude is exactly how we get into the financial mess that the government is in right now, with everybody lining up for more.

There's a $50 billion deficit. At some point, someone has to say enough is enough and we're not going to borrow more money from our kids to pay for "cultural" stuff. If we have to borrow the money, then we can't afford it.

I am curious to see what we get for twelve million dollars, before we are sure it is a money grab...

Agreed - given that they're asking for the funds to host cultural events rather than the game itself, it doesn't sound unreasonable.

Sorry, but I am totally against this. Comparing this to the olympics is absurd. We got behind it the way we did because it was a showcase for Canada internationally. The Grey Cup is not. Our taxes in this country are high enough without inventing reasons for the Feds to hand out more tax payer dollars.

How much did Sir Paul McCartney get for playing at Quebec's 400th birthday? hmmmm

Well, just reading it was a free show with a quick Google search, interesting. :?

jaz, you don't think any milestone national cultural event in Canada, not showcased internationlly, should receive any federal funds?

I think it depends. But I dont think the Grey Cup needs this type of infusion of money. Its a very profitable event. Im pretty sure the 100 Grey Cup will do quite fine without taking my tax dollars.

Grey Cups don't make anywhere near $12 mill. Remember, this is a milestone 100th cultural event in Canada. Have you ever read any Grey Cup history?

I guess you don't think the 400th Quebec anniversary deserved any money? The profit from that event in visitors and the tourism that resulted was surely higher than any Grey Cup would garner I would think.

lets just agree to disagree. I think my tax dollars should be used more frugally. I think we pay WAY too high taxes in Canada. Everyone wants money and who pays it. the middle of the road guy. Im taxed to death. I say enough.

jaz, so what I think you're saying then is the 400th anniversary of Quebec should have received no money from the feds and no milestone event like this which we tend to put under the label 'culture', should receive any federal money because it's a waste of our tax dollars to try and promote anything culturally? Like Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill as another example?

Just trying to see where you draw the line for interests sakes, not to put you on the hot seat.

I find it an interesting discussion. And just reading this from the Canada Heritage website:

[i]Celebrate Canada! Funding
Service Delivery Standards for this funding program


Deadline : February 28, 2010

Important notice : Funding Application Forms postmarked or delivered to your Canadian Heritage regional office after February 28, 2010 will not be considered.

Canadian Heritage provides financial support for activities organized during the Celebrate Canada period, from June 21st to July 1st. These activities celebrate National Aboriginal Day, on June 21st, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24th, Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27th and Canada Day on July 1st.

In order to ensure that your funding request is processed in a timely manner, you are invited to send us your request as soon as possible. Please make sure that your form is completed and signed. Incomplete applications will result in delayed processing and could be rejected.[/i]

quite frankly, in this economy, where people are struggling to pay their bills, job losses, tax hikes, etc, I think that most of these "cultural" events should have minimal or no tax funding. When the economy is in better shape thats a different story. Our politicians should run our country the way we run our homes. When money is tight, you budget your money to pay for the necessities and maybe dont spend it on entertainment. I had to make some very serious choices recently, why shouldnt the feds.

do it! I say yes, because the CFL needs to get some bigger exposure in this country. Make people who haven't seen it, have an opportunity to see it.

we need to have the chance for the CFL to really showcase itself. better marketing, better advertising, bigger events, bigger promotions.

put the CFL out there like the NFL and NHL does. push it all out.

Then the CFL needs to do a better job... not the federal government.. Thats not thier job.