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Grey Cup postponement an economic, emotional loss for Regina
REGINA -- A day after the CFL announced Regina won’t be hosting a Grey Cup Festival until 2022, Saskatchewan football fans are feeling deflated, but understanding.
“It’s better than not having it at all,” said one fan who planned on attending the Grey Cup Festival in November.
“I think that the City needs to have time to get volunteers and do a bang up job as oppose to trying to put something together in the event that the COVID virus lets us go ahead,” says Sheila, who volunteered at the previous two Grey Cups in Regina.
The Regina Chamber of Commerce estimates the economic loss of not hosting a Grey Cup is in the $100 million range.
Ryan Urzada is the CEO and Owner of the Atlas hotel, and says all of the hotels rooms were sold out for the entire week of Grey Cup 2020.
“A Grey Cup is a financial boon to the entire hotel industry. I think we estimated that for Regina hotels alone, the revenue from a Grey Cup week and weekend is about a million dollars.”
Premier Scott Moe says he’s disappointed the Grey Cup party won’t go on as planned, but understands given the circumstances.
“The economics were very much being planned for by the community but as disappointed as we are, we fully understand the challenge that we’re collectively facing as a society.”
According to the Regina Chamber of Commerce, the industries already hardest hit by the COVID-19 Pandemic will suffer the most as a result of the Grey Cup 2020 postponement.
Thomas Siarkos is the Owner of Memories restaurant in downtown Regina. He was looking forward to the revenue the Grey Cup would generate for his establishment.
“During the pandemic and the closing of our restaurants, we were looking to capture some of these extra special events that were coming to our City,” said Siarkos.
Hotel and restaurant owners are still excited about the opportunity of an economic boom for the 2022 Grey Cup. That is if they can survive that long.
“For us to be able to have [a Grey Cup] in only two years from now to make that up, it stretches out that light at the end of the tunnel a little bit more,” says Urzada.
If the CFL season does resume in 2020, there’s a chance Regina could host a modified Grey Cup if the Roughriders make the finals, and have the strongest regular season record.