Province planning to pony up $3 million for Grey Cup Festival
The province will give $3 million to the Saskatchewan Roughriders to support the 2020 Grey Cup Festival, as part of the government’s bid to boost tourism.
Cabinet approved the grant from Tourism Saskatchewan last week through an order in council. It provides $1.5 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year and $1.5 million for 2020-21.
In return, the Roughriders will grant certain advertising and promotional rights for the festival to Tourism Saskatchewan, according to a draft contract that accompanies the order.
The government confirmed that the agreement was signed on Friday.
On Monday, the province highlighted the economic impact the Grey Cup and associated celebrations are expected to have on the city and the province. It noted that the last Grey Cup in Saskatchewan, in 2013, had an estimated economic impact of $93 million.
Gene Makowsky, minister responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan, said in the statement that Saskatchewan must invest in order to achieve its target to boost tourism spending by 50 per cent by 2030. That’s one of the 30 goals in in the government’s Growth Plan released last fall.
“It is a privilege for Saskatchewan to host the Grey Cup for the fourth time and showcase Rider Pride — a phenomenon unequalled in Canada,” Makowsky said. “Major events like the Grey Cup bring widespread profile and thousands of visitors to our province …
The Grey Cup Festival extends over six days leading up to the 108th Grey Cup at Mosaic Stadium on Nov. 22. All of the festivities will take place on the grounds of Evraz Place, the CFL announced last week.
That includes a street festival that will offer food and music “from morning until night.” There will also be an esports tournament with a grand prize of $50,000, as well as a family fair and other special events.
The advertising rights will give Tourism Saskatchewan the opportunity to feature its logo on web, print, TV and radio spots promoting the event.
It will also have the right to name one landmark on the festival site, and will get tickets to the game, award show, festival gala and concert.
The money comes through Tourism Saskatchewan’s Event Hosting Program, which is also funding events like the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the JUNO Awards.
— with files from Greg Harder
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