Friday 8 March 2013

Grey Cup Rotation System Fairest for All Teams

The Grey Cup is headed back to the west coast as Vancouver will host Canadian football's biggest game in 2014.

This will be the second time in four years and the third time in nine years that the game will be played at BC Place. The only other bid was from Winnipeg, who pulled out to concentrate on bidding on the 2015 game, so Vancouver was the only option.

But the CFL is seeing a stadium-building boom right now – Winnipeg opens their new facility in June, Hamilton and Ottawa should be ready by 2014, and Regina will have their new stadium in 2017 – which means the league should change how the Grey Cup is awarded. Instead of a bidding process, the league should institute a simple rotation system. Here is how I would do it (starting in 2017):

2017 - Vancouver
2018 - Hamilton
2019 - Calgary
2020 - Montreal
2021 - Regina
2022 - Ottawa
2023 - Edmonton
2024 - Toronto
2025 - Winnipeg

This is the fairest system not just for the teams, but also the fans. The game isn't held in the same region of the country two years in a row, the games in domes (2017, 2020, 2024) are spread out enough to ensure the game isn't played in the cold too often (for people who care/worry about that kind of thing), and every team gets the game every nine years.

With places like Hamilton soon able to host the game, all nine CFL cities will be viable candidates for the Grey Cup. It makes little sense to continue to have teams bid on the game when the league can just put in a schedule that sees teams get the game when it is their turn. Once all the stadia are complete, we should never see something like BC (or any city) hosting the game multiple times in less than a decade (let alone multiple times in less than half a decade). If every team can host, every team should host. The CFL has a chance to once again do right by its fans and I hope they make the necessary changes to ensure Grey Cup equality amongst their nine franchises.

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