It was a 5-day party when Hamilton hosted the Grey Cup in 1972
Canadian Football Hall of Fame was unveiled in the city
The 107th Grey Cup is scheduled to be awarded at the Canadian Football League's championship match in Calgary today.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers go up against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Back in 1972, the Hamilton team had the privilege of playing on its home field, which was then Ivor Wynne Stadium.
"A casual visitor to this city might think it was preparing for a royal visit," said CBC reporter Larry Stout, in Hamilton five days before the 1972 match. "But there's nothing very regal about a Grey Cup festival."
Already, musical performances and rallies were happening outdoors.
"Hamilton is approaching this festival with gusto," said Stout. "A Western corral has been built in front of the city hall."
And the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, "a half-million-dollar repository for old sweat-stained jerseys," had just opened, housing memorabilia of interest to CFL fans.
"Hamilton will be pumping hospitality through its veins all this week," said Stout.
One of the organizers viewed the Grey Cup events as a reminder of the benefits of national unity.
"For a whole week, all Canadians can forget about whether they're French or English, or where their fathers came from or what their politics are," said an unidentified organizer.
It had been a heartbreaker for Hamilton the last time the game was played there, in 1944, when "Montreal defeated the old Wildcats by a single point," said Stout.
"But fans in this football-crazy town ... are convinced this year will have a storybook ending, with the Tiger-Cats winning the Grey Cup in their own hometown."
Those fans were right: Hamilton won 13-10 over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.