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This is big news in the CIS circles, however, could this
occasion be a success in a cosmopolitan city that has a lukewarm passion for
Already CIS is a bit
behind the eight-ball in announcing their signature game set to be played in
less than eight months time. A lot of work needs to be done.
In order for the Vanier
Cup to be successful, Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, the Montreal Alouettes, and
CIS committee will need to go full out in promoting this event. Billboards,
strategic signage within Quebec university campuses, and constant
television/radio promotions have be to
visible in a community that is hockey mad.
That means having key
CIS public relations people involved that know the Montreal area such as
McGill's own Earl Zuckerman, and Montreal Carabins Benoit Mongeon. These two
are the best at what they do, and would be key additions in raising the profile
of this game. Moreover, McGill University as a whole will do a fantastic job in
making sure their student body, and alumni know about this crown jewel of an
This year's playoff
rotation will have the RSEQ taking on Canada West, and OUA battling AUS. It is
imperative the right match-up occurs for this event to be successful.
Now, on paper a
Calgary-Western battle would look appealing, but could it fly in Montreal. From
a local standpoint, if defending champions Laval, Montreal (who literally play on the other side of the
hill), or host site McGill were to make it to the big game it would
generate an increase in ticket sales.
It is hard to imagine
smaller communities from outside the province of Quebec traveling in droves to
Montreal. Are hotels planning to block off section of rooms for traveling
parties coming to this game?
Aesthetically, it would
be an eye sore if only a few thousand show up particularly if a RSEQ team is
not involved. As one football representative who has a strong pulse on the
community told me over the weekend, the organizing committee needs to get as
many minor football programs to attend. Instill the idea of the next generation
of kids playing in this game in the near future.
At the same time, with
the Vanier Cup essentially going head to head with Grey Cup weekend in Vancouver. The CIS could be staring at an abyss of national media coverage considering
all eyes will be on Canada's biggest signature game on the other side of the
country. Furthermore, if the Alouettes were to make it to the big game, it could
result in the top local media personalities covering the game in Vancouver.
At the end of the
November, Montreal weather can be unpredictable where a snowstorm could happen,
or simply it is bitter cold. Organizers need to hope it is a nice, comfortable
day for the fans to enjoy the game.
Finally, if the Vanier
Cup goes head to head with a Montreal Canadiens home game it could mean
trouble. Historically, the Canadiens will play a bulk of home games at the end
of November before their predominant road schedule in December. If the
Canadiens happen to play the Toronto Maple Leafs, or another big name NHL team,
it could pose problems from the attention being directed towards the hockey
team than the game itself.
There are a lot of moving
variables in this project. It is a big leap of faith for CIS to give the 50th
edition of this game to a city that has never been a part of the rotation.
Now the hard work
begins for the committee in making this a successful event.
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@MoeKhan19 Photo credit: Edmonton Journal