VANCOUVER – Grey Cup organizers say about 4,300 tickets remain unsold for Sunday’s game between the Calgary Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Jamie Pitblado, 102nd Grey Cup Festival general manager, said Wednesday there was a spike in sales after the two clubs advanced with playoff victories on Sunday, but added there are still plenty of seats available.
“We’re definitely headed in the right direction,” he said. “(We) will keep focused and keep working with the teams and their fans to make sure we can accommodate whatever requests and needs are coming in.”
The last three Grey Cup games have featured the host team, but the B.C. Lions were eliminated in the first round of the 2014 post-season, while the Saskatchewan Roughriders and their rabid fanbase were also knocked out at the same stage.
That has made the job of selling the game at the 54,500-seat B.C. Place Stadium more difficult, along with the fact that Vancouver also hosted the Grey Cup just three years ago.
“I think the excitement’s building,” said Pitblado. “I think it’s building for more than just the game, but the festival as well – the whole experience.”
Prior to the East and West Division finals there were about 6,500 tickets left to sell. As of Wednesday, the remaining 4,300 seats were mostly in the corners of the upperdeck and priced around $250 apiece.
“(Sales) are starting to pick up again,” said Pitblado. “We’re kind of where we want to be, where we expected to be. We’ve still got some work to do and we’re going to keep plugging away at it.”
The newly renovated B.C. Place hosted a sold-out Grey Cup in 2011 when the Lions beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the venue’s first major event following the 2010 Olympics.
While Pitblado would not guarantee a sellout for this year’s game, he said he expected it to be close.
“We’re going to work darn hard,” said Pitblado. “That’s our goal, that’s what we expect and we’re going to try out best to get there.”