Police call on Ticat fans to have 'fun, safe' Grey Cup
Hamilton's police chief is appealing for calm on Grey Cup Sunday — no matter what happens in the game.
Chief Glenn De Caire put out a YouTube video Friday, urging fans to enjoy the game and do so responsibly.
"Let's make Grey Cup Sunday a day to remember, not one to forget," De Caire said in the video.
"We want our citizens to have fun, but also to be safe, and you can do both."
Business owners agreed. "I think the chief is exactly right," said Jeff Valentine, owner of the Jet Cafe on King Street.
"We don't need to be Vancouver or something," he said, referring to the widespread rioting that broke out following the 2011 Stanley Cup final. (Vancouver was also home to some of the only CFL-related violence when small riots broke out after the 1963 Grey Cup.)
Last year's 100th Grey Cup in Toronto sold out but there was no rioting after the home side captured the title. Nor was there violence in Calgary, the team the Argos beat.
In Hamilton, Tailgate Charlie's owner Francis Zanetti isn't worried about riots.
"In the past the Hamilton fan has been pretty respectable," Zanetti said, pointing to the Ticats' last cup visit in 1999 as an example of a busy but safe night.
Tailgate Charlie's holds about 283 football fans and will have its regular security on hand on Sunday, Zanetti said. Drunken fights are always a risk, he admitted, but "our job is to make sure they don't get to that state."
The bar is well known amongst CFL fans, and has hosted fans from Saskatchewan before.
"Everbody's welcome," Zanetti said.