Source: Winnipeg Blue Bombers to be awarded 2025 Grey Cup game
TORONTO — The Grey Cup game is returning to Winnipeg.
According to a source, the league will award the 2025 Grey Cup to the Manitoba capital later this month. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity as the CFL hasn't formally unveiled the host city for the contest.
The move would come after the CFL awarded the '24 Grey Cup game to Vancouver. Both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and B.C. Lions had bid to host the contest.
As a result, the prevailing sentiment was Winnipeg would be up next to host the Grey Cup. It's unclear if any other cities bid for the '25 game.
The '23 Grey Cup will be held Nov. 19 at Tim Hortons Field, the 12th time the contest will be played in Hamilton.
The 2021 Grey Cup was also played at Tim Hortons Field, with Winnipeg dispatching the hometown Tiger-Cats 33-25 in overtime. Regina was originally scheduled to stage the '20 game but the league didn't operate that season due to the global pandemic.
Subsequently, Regina was awarded the '22 Grey Cup, which saw the Toronto Argonauts upset Winnipeg 24-23. Hamilton went ahead and staged the '21 game, capping the league's return to play with an abbreviated 14-game regular season.
The CFL opted to give Hamilton the '23 contest so event organizers could offer a full week of Grey Cup activities and stage the title game without restrictions. While the '21 contest was played with a full 24,000-seat capacity at Tim Hortons Field, there was no extra seating provided for it.
This would mark just the fifth time Winnipeg has hosted the Grey Cup and first since 2015. That year, Edmonton defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 26-20 before 36,634 spectators at IG Field.
Winnipeg also hosted the Grey Cup in 1991, '98 and 2006. All three of those games were held at Canad Inns Stadium (formerly Winnipeg Stadium) but that venue was demolished after the Blue Bombers moved to IG Field in 2013.
Manitoba officials have estimated that hosting the Grey Cup would add $90 million to the economy and provide $8.2 million in provincial tax revenue. The provincial government offered up to $5.5 million to help with a Grey Cup bid for Winnipeg.
The Manitoba government's financial support was more than in 2015 and would also exceed recent winning bids in other provinces.
The Ontario government put up $3 million combined for the two Grey Cups in Hamilton. The Saskatchewan government's tourism Crown corporation offered $3 million in the bid that landed the '22 final.
-- With files from Steve Lambert in Winnipeg.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2023.
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press