Sports

103rd Grey Cup online : OTTAWA v ESKIMOS Preview

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A smattering of the 36,634 tickets for the big game at Investors Group Field were still available via Ticketmaster at noon Friday. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced a few hours later that the game had sold out.

The 2014 Grey Cup attracted four million viewers, the lowest since the rating system changed in 2009. The Super Bowl, one of the world’s biggest sports events and shown in Canada on over-the-air network CTV, another Bell Media property, had about nine million Canadian viewers.

103rd Grey Cup OTTAWA REDBLACKS v EDMONTON ESKIMOS

Planning on watching the Redblacks take on the Eskimos in Sunday’s Grey Cup? Unless you have satellite or cable television — and in many cases, not just basic cable TV — you can’t see it from here.

Or anywhere else without access to specialty channel TSN or one of the international networks with Canadian Football League broadcast rights. You CAN watch it on the Internet through a YouTube stream, but only in countries without a television deal.

Who is playing in the Grey Cup?

The Edmonton Eskimos (14-4) will face the Ottawa Redblacks (12-6). The two teams met twice in the regular season, playing on back-to-back weekends. Edmonton beat Ottawa 46-17 on July 9 in Edmonton. The following week the Eskimos defeated the Redblacks 23-12 in the nation’s capital.

Edmonton will be making its 25th appearance in the Grey Cup and its first since winning it in 2005 after downing the defending champion Calgary Stampeders 45-31 in the West Division final. Ottawa, meanwhile, beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35-28 in the East final to book its spot in the title game – just one season after their inaugural campaign.

Saskatchewan’s dismal 0-9 start to the season has also seemed to play a role. There were many Saskatchewan fans — arguably the most passionate fan base in the league — in Winnipeg by Friday, but the fact the Roughriders were out of contention so early appears to have reduced the size of the green army willing to make the six-hour drive from Regina to Winnipeg.

Grey Cup OTTAWA REDBLACKS v EDMONTON ESKIMOS

He basically challenged me to come to the CFL”, Lolley said. Collectively they received five honours, starting with Burris being named the league’s most outstanding player for 2015 and recipient of the Tom Pate Memorial Trophy for contributions to the community.

It’s not that either team needs additional motivation for a Grey Cup game.

“I’ve actually been on the team for four years, continuously in the Grey Cup”, said Alexandria Macfarlane with the BC Lions Felions Dance Team.

Fans are also encouraged to arrive early to the Grey Cup game to ensure they’re in their seats when the festivities kick off at 5:00pm on Sunday.

Once the most watched event of the year on Canadian television, the Grey Cup broadcast has been missing from the country’s major networks since 2008.

The Grey Cup Festival Santa Claus Parade starts on Portage Avenue at the University of Winnipeg and heads down Portage to Main Street where it turned south down Main, ending at William Stephenson Way. The parade kicked off at 4:30 p.m.

Block parties appropriate for the whole family start at 3:30 p.m. and the Royal Canadian Air Force’s world famous Snowbirds will mark the beginning of the parade with a fly by of the start location.

A smattering of the 36,634 tickets for the big game at Investors Group Field were still available via Ticketmaster at noon Friday. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced a few hours later that the game had sold out.

But there were still tickets available via third party sellers at well below face value — half-price was not uncommon.

The last time Winnipeg hosted the Cup, in 2006 at the old Canad Inns Stadium, there were 44,786 fans, according to league statistics. The last time there were fewer than 40,000 fans for a Grey Cup was the previous Winnipeg showdown in 1998, when attendance totalled 34,157.

But its absence might only now be registering on Ottawa residents newly caught up in Redblacks excitement

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