Party like a champion: Your guide to Grey Cup celebrations in Hamilton
There are lots of options for fans to get in on the Grey Cup excitement
The Canadian Football League's biggest game is being played in Hamilton on Sunday, featuring the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12. The game will be televised on TSN and ESPN. An audio broadcast of the game is available on Sirius satellite radio's Canada Talks channel, 167, and on local terrestrial radio on AM 900 CHML.
Hamiltonians are not known for being quiet supporters of their beloved team, so there are lots of options for fans and the Cat-curious alike to get in on the Grey Cup excitement all week long. The league is hosting several big-ticket events throughout the week, as well as hosting a bar and celebration space at the Hamilton Convention Centre. More information at greycupfestival.ca.
Here are some lower-cost or free options to get in on the action.
Grey Cup Party Schedule
Tuesday, Dec. 7
11 a.m.: The Grey Cup arrives in Hamilton
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie and the Grey Cup will arrive at Bayfront Park in a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffon helicopter. There will be a brief ceremony to welcome the trophy to the city, featuring Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Ticats owner Bob Young, and former star wide receiver Andy Fantuz, who retired in 2018.
In the case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be relocated, so check greycupfestival.ca before you go.
Thursday Dec. 10 to Saturday Dec. 12
The Spirit of Edmonton has been one of the top Grey Cup parties since the mid-1970s. You can join in at Industria Pizzeria & Bar at 69 John St. South on Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight and on Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight for just $10 at the door. Be prepared to show valid proof of vaccination.
Friday, Dec. 10
10 a.m.: Commissioner's State of the League address
Hamilton Convention Centre
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie hosts an event where he'll give fans an update on the direction of the league and take questions from members of the audience. The league also plans to reveal the "Grey Cup Fan Base" – a new base on which the Grey Cup will stand, in recognition of the fans. Those wanting to attend must RSVP for free tickets. This is an indoor event that will require proof of vaccination.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 2021 CFLAA Legends Luncheon
The CFL's Legend's Luncheon is a great chance to be around some legends of the game. This year's event will feature former Ticat stars Bob Krouse and Jason Riley. It will take place at the The Endzone Bar & Grill at 1305 Main St E in Hamilton. Tickets are $175+HST and include a meal and an open bar.
9 p.m.: CFL Awards After-party
Hamilton Convention Centre
Registration for the CFL Awards on Saturday evening is already closed, but fans looking to rub elbows with football greats can still buy tickets for the after-party. The party will also be where the CFL Players' Association reveals the 2021 CFLPA All-Stars as voted on by the league's players. Entertainment by DJ Skratch Bastid.
Saturday, Dec. 11
Spirit of Edmonton breakfast
What's better than three nights of parties with the Spirit of Edmonton team? Three nights of parties with the Spirit of Edmonton team and a breakfast. The Grey Cup breakfast takes place at the Michelangelo Banquet Centre. Doors will open at 8 a.m. and local Hamilton musicians will provide the entertainment. Tickets are $125.
Sunday, Dec. 12: GAME DAY
TigerTown GameDay Party
The TigerTown GameDay Party will be held at the Hamilton Convention Centre on Sunday, Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with $75 tickets available now at ticketmaster.ca.
SiriusXM Grey Cup Tailgate
1 to 4 p.m.: SiriusXM Grey Cup Tailgate
South end-zone plaza, Tim Hortons Field
Free to Grey Cup ticket-holders
Rock band the Trews and rapper Haviah Mighty will entertain fans at the field in advance of the big game. Resale tickets for this area, called the Twisted Tea Grey Cup Social, are available at ticketmaster.ca/greycup, but when we checked, they are selling for well above their stated price of $149.
5 p.m.: Shuttle bus from Odds Bar
The sports-themed downtown local at 164 James St. S. will surely be showing the game — the halftime show features local band Arkells, two of whose members are part-owners of the bar. But it's also offering a ride to people who want to pre-drink at Odds and then head to Tim Hortons Field. For $15, fans can get a seat on the bus and a pint of Odds Lager before they go.
6 p.m.: Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 108th Grey Cup
Tim Hortons Field