Scott Ackles stepped down as president of the Calgary Stampeders on Monday to become general manager of the 2011 Grey Cup in Vancouver.
It will mark the third time Ackles has been given the task of organizing a CFL championship. He headed up the 2005 Grey Cup committee in Vancouver and helped stage this year’s event in Calgary.
Ackles said ideally two years are required to successfully organize a Grey Cup.
“It’s required for an event of this size,” Ackles said.
“But coming back to Vancouver is going to be great because there are so many people that I already know and have great relationships.
“Also, there’s having done it before in the city and it was a successful event. I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy because they’re never easy and they’re a lot of work.
“I think you need two years to do it properly and make sure you’re going to put on the best event you possibly can.”
Ackles is making the move with mixed emotions.
The Vancouver native will be returning to his hometown but added that leaving Calgary is difficult.
Ackles joined the Stamps in March 2007 as senior vice-president of club operations and was named the team’s president that December.
His father is the late Bob Ackles, former president and CEO of the B.C. Lions.
Stamps managing partner John Forzani said he has known for some time that Ackles wouldn’t be back in 2010.
Vancouver will host the 2010 Winter Olympics in February and Ackles says that event should help the Grey Cup the following year.
“I think the Olympics are obviously doing to a fantastic job in Vancouver and setting an even greater stage for those people wanting to come and visit Vancouver and provide another excuse to do that from a tourism point standpoint,” Ackles said.
“What better excuse than to come and see the 99th Grey Cup in Vancouver and obviously come to what will be the new retractable roof at B.C. Place Stadium.”
A new $458-million retractable roof will be built for B.C. Place stadium after the close of the 2010 Winter Games.