Countdown begins for 2025 Vanier Cup

Even though it’s just under two years away, the excitement is already building up for the 2025 Vanier Cup in Regina.

On Saturday, U SPORTS announced the football championship will be in the Queen City for the first time.

On Monday, CEO Pierre Arsenault discussed Regina’s successful bid to host the Vanier Cup on the Sportcage.

U SPORTS determined the site of the Vanier Cup through a bidding process, with Arsenault saying they received significant interest in the 2025 and 2026 games.

He added they’ve experienced success with first-time venues for the Vanier Cup including London in 2022 and Kingston last Saturday.

“There’s an energy and excitement,” said Arsenault, who noted they will look for that trend to continue in 2025.

According to the CEO of U SPORTS, the rich football history within the city and the state-of-the-art facility in Mosaic Stadium are two of the main attractions of holding the Vanier Cup in Regina.

Leading up to the Vanier Cup, there are events similar to those held during Grey Cup Week. According to Arseneault, U SPORTS announced the game venue two years in advance to give the host committee enough time to prepare for the celebrations.

Ahead of the 2023 game in Kingston, the festivities included a U SPORTS Football Awards Night and a fan fest.

The passionate football fans of Regina were another reason strong selling point for the bid.

“With the most important ingredient being football crazed fans and sports crazy fans in Regina and in Saskatchewan, we really know that we had great interest with all the local partners to build this to be a festival as much as possible.”

2025 will mark the second time the Vanier Cup will be held in Saskatchewan, as Saskatoon hosted the game in 2006 on a cold day at Griffiths Stadium, where Laval defeated the hometown Huskies 13-8.

The Vanier Cup was last played in Western Canada in 2011, featuring one of the greatest games in U SPORTS history when McMaster defeated Laval 41-38 in double overtime at BC Place in Vancouver.

Arseneault believes it’s vital for the Vanier Cup to be played across the entire country.

On Saturday, the Montreal Carabins captured their second Vanier Cup, defeating the UBC Thunderbirds 16-9 at Queen’s University. The championship capped off a successful run by the Carabins defence, who didn’t allow a single touchdown during the postseason.

Members of the Montreal Carabins celebrate with the Vanier Cup, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023 in Kingston, Ont. The Carabins defeated the UBC Thunderbirds 16-9 to win the Canadian University Football Championship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Queen’s University will host the Vanier Cup next year before the University Championship comes to Regina in 2025.

U SPORTS also announced the 2026 Vanier Cup will head out east, with Laval as the host city.

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