Hosting the Grey Cup During a Global Pandemic

I feel bad for the City of Hamilton, Bob Young & the entire Tiger-Cats organization.

Think back to February 2019 when the Commissioner of the CFL announced that Hamilton had been awarded the right to host the Grey Cup game in 2021 . . . most Hamiltonians were so excited as the Tiger-Cats unveiled their plans for a week long national celebration to honour Canada's brand of football.
Jump ahead 30 months to 2021 . . . we are navigating our way thru a global pandemic as best we can . . . CFL football has arisen from the ashes, and the Grey Cup will once again be awarded after a one year hiatus . . .
But here we are a mere 10 or 11 weeks removed from that event, and the City of Hamilton ( & the CFL) don't even know how many fans will be allowed into THF on that day. Instead of barreling full steam ahead implementing their plans for a Grey Cup week jam packed with exciting events, the organizers must be working on multiple contingency plans instead. Very sad, for a City that was so looking forward to hosting its first Grey Cup since 1996.
On tonight's Blue Jays broadcast, it was announced that the Toronto Blue Jays are seeking permission to increase their attendance to a maximum of 30,000 fans for the final home stand & playoffs (if they make it that far).
I am quite certain that the City of Hamilton & the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club want to be viewed as "good corporate citizens", but if they are expected to host this national celebration that we call Grey Cup week, they need some decisions from the authorities who are responsible for setting these policies.

Even if we ignore COVID-hesitancy for the moment, how can the CFL expect to sell tickets to fans in Saskatchewan or Manitoba (or Dundas for that matter), if those fans don't even know if they will be allowed to enter the stadium??
In my opinion, this national celebration should be granted a one time exemption to allow the City, the Tiger-Cats & the CFL to plan on selling out THF with the expanded capacity that they have been planning all along. But that decision needs to be announced soon . . . if that announcement is not made soon, well, you know what they say about "the best laid plans" . . .

Many moons ago Cream had a hit song titled, "Born Under a Bad Sign"; and in that song, the late Jack Bruce used to sing,
"If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all . . . "
Who could have anticipated a global pandemic back in Feb 2019 ??

What says yee . . . ??


If they aren’t allowed full capacity in the Grey Cup we might see 8 teams seeded in the playoffs as per the amended collective bargaining agreement to make up for the loss

Yah100% a brutal timing for Hamilton. You guys definitely deserve a redemption when all of this is hopefully over.

I’d almost rather see the CFL host they grey cup in cities that have massive stadiums so they could spread things out more, to ensure that people can attend and not get cancelled out? Like, Montreal’s old velodrome or BC Place.

Hopefully the hammer can pack up the house and put on a great show tho!


Hopefully, with the Ticats announcing you won't be getting into the stadium unless you're fully vaccinated, they'll be able to secure permission to increase the allowed attendance for the GC.


Good point. I’m sure they’ll make that request

It's strange how they can put in covid restrictions to make people spread out but they can possibly make exceptions for important games?

If they are restricted to the 15k to 20k then it's likely the fans will all be from Hamilton


Ive had the same thought, after 25 years we finally get a GC, but we're going to end up with one that's compromised in some way.

I don't know what's worse, that or the 3 recent GC losses. A GC win this year would certainly be a just reward for us!

Funny, I don't remember CREAM looking like this...

Agreed. I did not spot Ginger Baker, nor Eric Clapton amongst that collection of "Belly-Achers". Clearly a cover version.
Thanx for sharing that bit of nostalgia . . . very funny !!

It could be worse. The 108th Grey Cup should have been played in Saskatchewan in 2020. They missed out COMPLETELY.

At this point I'm glad the game is still on for Hamilton. Hopefully we don't end up in some kind of 4th wave Covid lockdown by December.

If we vax up and mask up , then the outdoor exposure should be fine for full attendance . Indoor congregate settings may require some more protective measures .
My only concern oudoors would be washroom lineups . Being a "major celebrity" I've been accidentally peed on at the urinals . :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Pat Lynch (be careful out there!)

Hopefully we don't end up in some kind of 4th wave Covid lockdown by December.

I wouldn't bet against it . Knowing our luck chances are if we're not in a lockdown they'll just make one up just to screw us over .

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[quote="PatLynch, post:12, topic:73504"]
Being a "major celebrity" I've been accidentally peed on at the urinals .

Are you sure it was "accidentally"? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Let's just hope the Cats get there! At least now there won't be the concern about how and where to add additional seating with a cap at 15,000. I just want this pandemic to end and to see the Cats win the Cup.


The other teams in the East or so weak right now that the Ticats are at least guaranteed to win the east and be in the Grey Cup again. The Bombers still the class of the league and I can see the same result as last season.

The Ontario gov't has reduced restrictions on outdoor sporting events, effective immediately. Attendance at outdoor sporting events in Ontario will now be capped at 30,000 or 75% of capacity whichever is less. The Tiger-Cats have already announced capacity for home games will increase to 18,000 fans.

Looking ahead to the Grey Cup game, the Tiger-Cats had planned to erect bleachers in the north endzone beneath the scoreboard, increasing the capacity of THF to ~33,300; if the current guidelines are in place for the GC game, this would translate into a capacity of 25,000 fans.

I would not be surprised to see those bleachers in place for the final Home Game of the regular season. GO 'CATS !!!

I think the worst part of that will be missing out on all the tourist dollars and seeing fans from all of the other cities at the various team parties. This is honestly the best part of a Grey Cup weekend, game is always secondary (even when I’ve gone and Cats are playing). Let’s hope Covid is under control, a decent amount of fans are allowed in the stadium and at any indoor party venue. Will likely be mandatory vaccines for everyone at any event.

If we aren't there and Sask is, you'll be able to make a ton of money.

Bite your tongue . . . !!!

I don't think the CFL has commenced GC ticket sales outside of Hamilton yet, but it will be interesting to see how C-19 impacts out of town attendees this year. I would think the local hotels, bars & restaurants would want at least 50% of the tickets sold to out of towners, for obvious reasons.

And speaking of out of towners, the City of Hamilton will need to have a plan in place, to account for an influx of farmers from Saskatchewan; Mayor Fred E will need to ensure there is a designated DT parking lot for those Combines. I know they won't fit into the u/g lot at the Sheraton!!