With less than two weeks until the Grey Cup Championship kicks off inside BC Place Stadium, there are still over 6,000 tickets available to the public, which sets the stage for the potential of empty seats at the Canadian Football League’s flagship event.
Approximately 47,000 of 53,000 seats have been sold, with the remaining tickets located high up within the upper levels at $288.50 each.
Interest with this year’s championship has been relatively low given the lacklustre performance of most of the CFL’s teams, including the BC Lions which were eliminated from the playoffs following Sunday’s humiliating 50-17 loss against the Montreal Alouettes. The BC Lions playing in the championship final would have been a major draw for ticket sales.
This is also Vancouver’s third Grey Cup in a decade since 2005 when the Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Alouettes. The Lions won the Cup in 2011 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in what was also the first major event to be held under the new retractable roof at BC Place. Both events were a massive success: tickets sold out weeks in advance for 2005 and in July for 2011.
In addition, over the last few years, the Whitecaps FC have attained a much larger share of Vancouver’s professional sports market; they have arguably outmaneuvered the Lions to become the city’s second most-followed sports franchise.
The upcoming Grey Cup in Vancouver marks just three years since the event was last held in the city. There were reportedly no bids to host the 2014 event, and the CFL approached the Lions first if they were up for the challenge.
On Sunday, November 23, two semi-final games will be played: Alouettes vs. Hamilton Tiger Cats and Eskimos vs. Calgary Stampeders. Four days of Grey Cup festivities will begin on November 26, with street festivals, free events and concerts occurring in and around the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The largest of the festivities will be the Grey Cup parade on Saturday, November 29 through the streets of downtown Vancouver.
The Grey Cup match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 30 and will include a halftime performance featuring Imagine Dragons. The entire game will be aired live on TSN.
Feature Image: BC Place