Reports that B.C. will get to host the 2014 Grey Cup should give David Braley plenty to laugh about.
The CFL is apparently set to hand Vancouver its second Grey Cup in four years. When Bob Mackin broke the news last month that the B.C. government had set aside $2.7 million to host the Grey Cup in 2014, it seemed like a long shot. Vancouver last hosted in 2011, suggesting there would be plenty of cities ahead in the queue (including Winnipeg and their new stadium), and a 2014 Grey Cup in Vancouver means that B.C. Lions' owner David Braley (who also owns the Toronto Argonauts) will reap the rewards from hosting three Grey Cups in four years. However, Mackin reported Thursday that the Lions are hosting a major press conference at B.C. Place Friday morning, and when he asked club president Dennis Skulsky if it was about the 2014 Grey Cup, Skulsky said "I think that’s a safe assumption." That strongly suggests that the league has in fact opted to go with Vancouver yet again, and that should raise significant questions for CFL observers.
Simply put, hosting the Grey Cup is widely believed to be the most important way to make money in the CFL, and it tends to come with a pile of cash. A Toronto Star report last November suggested that Braley was set to make up to $10 million off hosting the 2012 game, and while that doesn't quite mean the federal government was funding Braley, it does mean that the league was directing a lot of revenues his way for the second year in a row. At the time, that wasn't really questionable: Vancouver was a logical site for the 2011 game (the city hadn't hosted since 2005 at that point), and Toronto was the obvious destination for the 2012 edition, the historic 100th Grey Cup. However, there seems to be very little reason to go back to Vancouver in 2014.
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