Football: Ottawa says it would like to host the Vanier Cup some day

Talk about a Freudian slip:
"Our oasis includes a world-class sports and entertainment facility where community events could include international activities like last summer's FIFA U-20 World Cup soccer tournament, or possibly a future U2 concert. We'd host national events such as the Grey Cup or the CIAU's Vanier Cup."
-- Ottawa sports operator Jeff Hunt, in an Ottawa Citizen op-ed (emphasis mine)
It's early yet, so it is too sarcastic and glib by half to say, "Mr. Hunt, you might have come off as a little more sincere if you had correctly named the league and sport -- it's CIS football -- that you're championing."

The notion of a Vanier Cup in Ottawa sounds pipe-dreamish to a hardened, somewhat cynical CIS nut who lives in that city, at least at first blush. The lack of spectator support for the football Gee-Gees has always been mystifying; when Ottawa hosts Queen's, the Golden Gaels almost always have more fans.

However, 10 years ago no one foresaw a day when Carleton and Ottawa would play basketball games at Scotiabank Place. Simply rebuilding Lansdowne Park would not spark an increase in fan support for the Gee-Gees that would show the CIS that Ottawa could host a Vanier (then again, aside from having Rogers Centre, what did Toronto ever do to show it wanted the game?).
It's not a bad idea to spread the word. The wheels will be in motion once Jeff Hunt learns that the CIAU has been the CIS for seven years now.

(Geeky journalist footnote: It is a little ironic that the Citizen didn't catch the flub, considering an editorial in the same edition, found fault with Carleton's athletic department, essentially because one of the paper's staffers -- the horror! -- had to a park off-campus. Next time, take public transit, bud.)
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  1. At the 2006 Mitchell bowl that Ottawa hosted, the size of the crowd was disappointing. And that was with a ticket sale promotion (2 for 1, or half price, for students...I can't remember which). What happens when it's a Vanier Cup and the home team isn't in the game? Ottawa is a fantastic city (one of my favourites in the world), but I'm not sure it should be a hosting a V.C. anytime soon.

  2. I don't think you have to worry about Ottawa hosting the Vanier Cup soon.
    First the Hunt group will have to sell their concept for Lansdowne Park and Frank Clair Stadium.
    That is not an easy sell as there is a reluctance by many in the city admin as well as on council to turn either the ownership or management of public property to private developers. If the Hunt plan is really good it could happen, but the city will take its time considering it and is unlikely to move quickly on making any decision.
    Then a final assessment of the true condition of LP needs to be completed. The whole place, because the Hunt plan is about more than just the stadium apparently. Then of course extensive building takes place. We are probably looking at a few years before it is all done, if it is accepted by the city all.
    By then who knows what the interest in holding the Vanier in Ottawa will be? As Neate said , ten years ago one would not likely have predicted that several thousand would turn out to watch university basketball at Scotiabank Place
    Also, sometimes I get the impression that in Ottawa we are better at supporting one off events than permanent fixtures like a a local sports team.


  3. I'd like a Vanier in Quebec (at PEPS or Molson Stdm.).