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Sports This Week: Get ready for Vanier Cup in Regina

In 1982, the name of the championship game was changed from Canadian College Bowl to Vanier Cup.
A football on the feild.

YORKTON -  The Vanier Cup game is coming to Regina.

USPORTS announced recently the 2025 Canadian national university football championship will be played at Mosaic Stadium, the home of the University of Regina Rams and Saskatchewan Roughriders.

It will be only the third time in the 60-year history of the Vanier Cup that the game will be held west of Ontario -- Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon hosted in 2006 and B.C. Place Stadium in 2011.

“It’s a big deal to have it back out in the west,” said Lisa Robertson, Director of Sport, Community Engagement & Athlete Development with the University of Regina which made the bid.

Robertson said having the event in Regina is “also great for the province,” especially given how “engaged in football” Saskatchewan is.

The Vanier Cup, the championship game for Canadian university football, is one of the country’s most storied sporting events,” detailed “The first national championship game, then called the Canadian College Bowl, was won by the University of Toronto on Nov. 20, 1965. Two years later, a playoff system was instituted by the governing body for Canadian university sport. The title contest became the Vanier Cup in 1982, named in honour of Canada’s first Governor General, Georges Vanier.

“It was a huge discussion to even apply,” said Robertson.

Robertson estimated it was a six month process which included “an internal assessment of whether it was something we wanted to do, could do.”

Part of that internal discussion was a look at the UofR’s football program.

“We want a team that has a chance to make it,” said Robertson, adding the Vanier Cup is one of those rare Usports events where the host team is not automatically involved.

“At the very least we want a team that can take a run at it,” she said.

In that regard earning the host nod won’t hurt as the Rams recruit for the next two seasons.

Another of the key draws in making the bid was Mosaic Stadium, a facility Robertson said is ideal “to put on an incredible event at.”

Robertson said they will limit seat sales to the lower bowl only – about 16,000 – noting accessing the upper seating would be a case of diminishing returns based on costs to open the upper ring.

As for whether they can sell, Robertson simply replied “Oh I think so.”

However, Saskatchewan football fans will have some time to wait before securing a ticket. Robertson said Usports is not likely to allow sales until after the 2024 Vanier Cup is concluded – an event set to be hosted by Queen’s University.

Once the university arrived at the decision to take a run at hosting the event there was still more quiet investigations to gauge what sort of support they might expect from the community beyond the university, and that too was positive, said Robertson.

“For Regina to get this is a really, really big deal,” she said.

Now it’s a case of readying for the big event, starting with setting committees to roll into 2024.

“I’m so proud of so many people that put this bid together,” said Robertson.

“The Vanier Cup trophy was created in 1965 when General Georges P. Vanier, then Governor General of Canada, graciously granted permission to the Canadian Save the Children Fund to name the trophy awarded to the winners of Canada's university football championship, then called the Canadian College Bowl,” notes the USPORTS site.

In 1982, the name of the championship game was changed from Canadian College Bowl to Vanier Cup.