When the 100th Grey Cup is contested in Toronto later this month, a new CFL tradition will begin. Fans will get the chance to carry the Cup from Varsity Stadium to the Rogers Centre before the game.
For the first time, fans of all CFL teams are invited to show up along the five-kilometre route to move the Cup along the path to the stadium. As many fans as possible will be given the chance to hold, carry and pass along the storied championship trophy. Legendary CFL players from historical Grey Cup games are also expected to be along the route taking part.
Commissioner Mark Cohon made the announcement to a group of long-time CFL fans and Grey Cup regulars and a handful of media in a suite before Thursday's regular-season finale between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts at the Rogers Centre.
It is a new initiative for CFL fans and one the league hopes will become a new Grey Cup tradition. The CFL believes it to be the first time this has ever been done by a professional sports league.
The festivities will begin at Varsity Stadium at 12:30 p.m. on game day, the site of 30 past Grey Cups. It will leave there at 1:45 p.m. and wind through the streets of downtown Toronto, passing Yonge-Dundas Square, Nathan Phillips Square and major hotels along the way to Rogers Centre for a pre-game party before the game.
Bands, mascots, cheerleaders, horses and other entertainment will also be part of the Cup's parade to Rogers Centre.
"We can't think of a better way of showing that it belongs to all Canadians," said Cohon. "Than giving as many of our fans as possible, young and old, the chance to carry the Grey Cup to the 100th Grey Cup game."