“It’s about people having a good time,” Riders CEO on 2022 Grey Cup Festival impact

Sport Tourism Canada released a study that showed the 2022 Grey Cup Festival and the game itself generated $67.8 million in economic activity in Canada, adding $25.7 million to Saskatchewan’s GDP.

Craig Reynolds, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, spoke at a Regina Chamber of Commerce Luncheon about the impact the festival was able to generate.

“I think it validates what we felt as a community was that the event was very successful, and it was a big economic impact,” he said. “To have close to $70 mullion of economic impact in a post-pandemic environment, we are proud of and its a testament to our volunteers and ultimately our fans.”

The total attendance reported was 210,000 over six days of festival activities, with one-third of attendees travelling to Regina from outside the province.

Attendees took in an average of three days of events, with their overall experience scored at an 4.6 out of 5, with 94 per cent of those surveyed rating the event as “excellent” or “very good.”

Reynolds said that while seeing the economic impact great, it is all about the fan’s experience at the end of the day.

“The planning and volunteers and everybody should be very proud of the event that they planned; I know over 30,000 hours were put in by volunteers the week off, and the planning leading up to it and again, it’s just a validation around all that effort that it was well-received.”

“At the end of the day, it’s about people having a good time, and that’s what people remember, is the time that they had,” he continued. “That’s what I’ll remember, I’ll probably forget the economic impact number, but I’ll remember that people enjoyed themselves.”

Reynolds said they want to continue the festival’s success into 2023 by investing in their fans.

“It allows us to invest, and I think that is what we want to do is we want to continue to invest in giving back to our fans and our game day experience, and to all the events and activities we plan for the game,” he said. “Whether that be giveaways or whether that be getting live music as part of the Party in the Park, whether that be events for our fans, for us, that is the most important thing.”

“When we are able to have a successful Grey Cup, it gives us an opportunity to reinvest back into our fan base so that we can deliver all of the things that they expect from us.”

After four years of planning for the festival, Reynolds said the organization reels reenergized and excited for the future.

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