As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Saskatchewan’s economy could face another major hit due to the uncertainty around the 2020 Grey Cup.
Hosted in Regina in 2013, the Grey Cup brought in $93 million to the province. This year, Tourism Regina projected the event to bring in around $95 million of economic activity.
But last week, the CFL announced that it’s very unlikely the football season will go ahead this year. If that’s the case, it also means no Grey Cup.
While it’s not set in stone, John Hopkins, Regina and District Chamber of Commerce CEO, says cancelling the event would mean restaurants and hotels would feel the brunt of the loss.
“Any kind of major event coming to the city, it has an impact in terms of ensuring that viability of a lot of businesses, particularly when you think about hotels. They need these major events to fill rooms,” Hopkins said.
“When we don’t have these types of events, it makes it more challenging and has an impact in terms of the viability of the business.”
Bushwakker Brewing, meanwhile, says a cancelled season could cost the pub tens of thousands of dollars.
“In 2013, we saw people in our brewpub from all over the country wearing their home province or city’s team jerseys beginning early in Grey Cup week,” the pub told Global News in a statement.
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“Additional staff were brought in to meet the increased demand and there was an incredible feeling of celebration and national pride throughout the brewpub all week long. For Regina to lose the opportunity to host the 2020 Grey Cup is both a huge financial and emotional blow.”
However, if there is a CFL season, it won’t start until July at the earliest — inevitably costing teams money, too.
But Regina sports columnist Murray McCormick says the Saskatchewan Roughriders are in a better position than most.
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