December 3 2009 by Bryson Forbes
Last Sunday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouettes squared off in the 97th Grey Cup in Calgary, Alberta. Canada's version of the Superbowl is held in late November each year and unless it's being played in Vancouver or Toronto (which have dome stadiums--weather usually plays a key role. Surprisingly, this year's weather was tame and quite boring, making it a non issue. In fact, at kick-off the sun was shining and a balmy eight degrees Celsius.
In contrast, the football game was exciting and full of intrigue, making it one of the best I can remember. It came down to the final play, where the heavily favoured Alouettes kicked a field goal with no time left on the clock to win by a single point. Heartbreak for Saskatchewan fans and the thousands who made the trip to Calgary to cheer on their provincial heroes. The game was the icing on the cake for a fantastic week of events and activities that make the Grey Cup a truly must-attend Canadian event. If you've never been, do yourself a favour and mark your calendar for the 98th game next year. It will be contested on November 28th, just three hours north of Calgary in Edmonton - "The City of Champions!" Edmonton has hosted three of the most memorable Grey Cup games in recent history and will sell out their 60,000-seat stadium. Chances are the weather will be nasty, which perhaps surprisingly will add even more fun and festivity.
It's a good idea to begin planning for a trip like this as soon as possible. Tickets for the game were completely sold out three months before this year's game; next year in football-crazy Edmonton, the response will undoubtedly be similar. Hotels will also book up fast, so putting a hold on a room or two in the next few months would be wise.
For anyone out there with a football fan in their lives, this would make an excellent Christmas present. The event is much more economical than you might think. The Superbowl, where tickets can easily run into the thousands of dollars, is far more expensive than The Grey Cup, where great tickets are sold for less than $200.
Accommodation, food and entertainment will also not break the bank. There are three Best Western properties in Edmonton and rates will likely range between $109 - $145 per night.
Continue to check the official Grey Cup Web site for updates and announcements regarding ticket sales at http://greycup.cfl.ca/2010.
See you in Edmonton--only 52 weeks away! Any guesses on the teams that will battle for next year's Grey Cup?