Study Shows Grey Cup Deserves to be Taken Seriously


The upcoming Grey Cup game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is being eagerly anticipated by sports fans in Canada. While the Bombers are the favourites to win their 12th title in the 108th edition of the CFL’s championship game, it would be foolish to underestimate the Tiger-Cats.

The Grey Cup itself is undoubtedly a hugely underrated competition, with many sports fans under the misapprehension that American Football starts and ends with the NFL.

However, as highlighted by recent research by Betway, the Grey Cup is an event that holds a special place in the hearts of Canadian people.

Crowds for the CFL championship game regularly exceed 50,000, and more would attend if the country had bigger stadiums at its disposal.

The biggest venue in the country is the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, which can be expanded to a capacity of around 66,000 for football.

By contrast, a six-figure crowd has watched the Super Bowl on five occasions, with the additional capacity of venues such as the Rose Bowl allowing more people to attend.

Despite issues over the size of stadiums in Canada, a total of 1,238,196 have attended the Grey Cup in person over the past 25 editions.

Television ratings also paint a positive picture for the Grey Cup, with an average of 4.48 million in Canada tuning in to watch the game since 2010.

The Super Bowl drew an average of 6.58m during the same period – a figure that was helped by increased media exposure and the growth in popularity of streaming NFL games.

The highest ever TV audience for a Grey Cup was in 2012, when 13m unique Canadian viewers watched at least some of the game.

Although that figure was dwarfed by the 18.7m who tuned in to watch Super Bowl LIV in 2020, it is still an impressive number considering the Canadian population.

One area where the Grey Cup outstrips the Grey Cup is in the weather stakes, with the game generally played in testing conditions.

The Super Bowl is usually held in cities with a warmer climate or at covered stadiums, which many fans believe leads to a more sanitised game.

However, cold, wind and rain are regularly a factor in the Grey Cup, making things much unpredictable and exciting for fans.

The coldest Grey Cup on record came in 1991, when the temperature at kick-off was an extremely chilly -16C (3.2F).

Those type of conditions contribute to more entertainment in the Grey Cup – a point highlighted by the points tally generated in the game over the past 25 years.

The CFL championship game has seen 1,312 points scored during that period, while the Super Bowl has amassed 1,201 points in the same timeframe.

Although there have been slightly more touchdowns in the Super Bowl (142 v 130), this does not detract from the entertainment on offer in the Grey Cup.

The Super Bowl is quite rightly lauded as a successful global brand, but the Grey Cup deserves plenty of credit for providing Canadian fans with plenty of thrills.

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