CFL Team to Call Guelph Home for 2013 Season
November 20, 2012 - News Release
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League hope to make the University of Guelph their home for the team’s 2013 season.
The team and the University have signed a memorandum of understanding that could see the Tiger-Cats playing their home games next year in U of G’s newly renovated Alumni Stadium. The Tiger-Cats’ regular home venue in Hamilton — Ivor Wynne Stadium — is scheduled for demolition this month. A new facility will open in Hamilton in 2014.
“We are delighted that Guelph was chosen,” said president Alastair Summerlee.
“It reflects the quality of the upgrades that we’ve made to Alumni Stadium and speaks to the reputation of the University and the City of Guelph. It will also help raise our profile, support the continuing expansion of our athletic facilities and bring business to Guelph.”
Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge said: “I am excited that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have chosen Guelph as their home for the team’s 2013 season. We are happy to host them and welcome all the fans to our beautiful city.”
Lloyd Longfield, president of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, added: “This is wonderful news for the city of Guelph. The spinoff benefits for business and tourism will be enormous.”
The tentative agreement identifies a number of logistical issues that need to be addressed prior to a final decision, said Brenda Whiteside, associate vice-president (student affairs), who oversees the Department of Athletics. She added that discussions will take place over the next few weeks.
Tiger-Cat games will be scheduled around U of G athletics and other events, Whiteside said.
Alumni Stadium has more than 4,000 permanent seats and a capacity of almost 10,000 for homecoming games. The Tiger-Cats and the University will work together to maximize the capacity of the facility while respecting site constraints, Whiteside said. This includes making temporary premium hosting areas available around the field and erecting temporary spectator stands on the stadium’s east side for Tiger-Cat games.
Scott Mitchell, Tiger-Cats president, said: “We think our fans will love this solution. It’s also a perfect fit for our very successful regional marketing campaign, and we look forward to working with the University to make this happen.”
This year’s improvements to Alumni Stadium included installation of new artificial turf, an eight-lane International Athletic Federation-certified track, new lighting and a state-of-the-art video scoreboard.
Tom Kendall, U of G’s director of athletics, said sports and recreation facilities and programs help attract and retain students. “We recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle for student success. These changes will allow us to continue to be leaders in student support."
Proceeds from the agreement will support the Gryphon athletics fundraising campaign. As part of U of G’s BetterPlanet Project, the Gryphon campaign is expected to help fund a new fitness and recreation complex.
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