Postponing 2020 Grey Cup game might be a good thing for Regina, says U of R professor

The CFL’s decision to cancel this year’s Grey Cup festivities, due to COVID-19, has left many Saskatchewan residents feeling disappointed.

The 2020 Grey Cup game and festival was scheduled to take place this November in Regina, but due to uncertainties surrounding the 2020 CFL season altogether, the league has moved the Queen City’s bid until 2022.

The expected financial toll of the lost game is around $16 million.

While may people are reeling over the decision, Jason Childs, an associate professor of economics at the University of Regina, says the cancellation may be a good thing.

“The Grey Cup festivities, if they were to go ahead, might not be the money maker or draw as many people as we were anticipating when we bid on it initially,” said Childs. “This could have been a real disappointment for the city and the league if we’d gone ahead.

He says that by pushing the festival back until 2022, there’s a better chance that we would have dealt with the pandemic, and more people will be excited to come out.

Childs says that whether the 2020 CFL season happens or not, the league will take a while to recover.

“We’re going to see that challenge of the return to play, and getting the fans back into it,” said Childs. “We’re looking at a summer without Canadian football, and that’s a real disappointment. The question will be whether or not fans come swarming back when we do start playing again, or are they going to find other things to do and it’s going to be harder for them to come back.”

Childs added that both the MLB and the NHL are still suffering from their most recent lockouts.

He says that most of the money already put aside by both Regina and the province will go towards the 2022 game.

He adds that because of that, the postponement of the game isn’t necessarily a huge loss.

“It’s not a loss in that anyone’s out a whole lot of money, there will be some places that are out some money, obviously,” said Childs. “It’s more a gain that we’re not getting.”

The CFL announced that, if the season happens, this year’s Grey Cup game will be held by the team with the best record going in.

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