Here’s how much Hamilton spent while hosting the NHL Heritage Classic and the Grey Cup
Published June 9, 2022 at 10:26 pm
It appears Hamilton gained more exposure and economic activity from hosting the Grey Cup than it did from the NHL Heritage Classic.
Clearing snow was also the city’s major contribution toward the show the National Hockey League staged here three momths ago.
Next week, city councillors on the general issues committee (GIC) will receive a final update about Hamilton’s contributions to both the 2022 NHL Heritage Classic and 2021 Grey Cup football game. Both major sporting events were held at Tim Hortons Field in the past few months, drawing crowds of more than 26,000.
In March, a crowd of 26,119 turned out to the stadium for the outdoor game between Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs, marking the first NHL regular-season contest in the city in nearly 30 years. It was also the first time the NHL had played an outdoor game in an Ontario city that does not have a team.
The update says Hamilton’s net financial contribution was $173,266, after private sector contributions from hotel operators ($20,000) and the cut of game-day concession sales (just under $49,000) that the city received were subtracted from the total. That tally also includes over $209,000 that was spent removing snow from the stadium. Paying snow-removal crews came out of the stadium operating budget.
The report notes the city had two significant snowfalls in January, totalling more than 50 centimetres. All of the snow needed to be removed in order for the NHL to construct the venue. Along with building a hockey rink in the middle of a football stadium, the NHL also built a stage for intermission events, which included a performance by pop singer Alessia Cara and the introduction of the Olympic gold medal winning Canadian hockey team and local star Sarah Nurse.
In return, there was “a realized local economic impact of $5 million to $5.5 million.” The update does not specify how that figure was calculated, but it is estimated that event led to a total of over 2,300 nights being booked in local hotels.
While Toronto lost the game, the report says Hamilton gained, “Positive national and United States media exposure… with the game broadcast on Sportsnet (Hockey Night in Canada), TNT (game analyst Wayne Gretzky), and TVA Sports (Canadian French-language sports channel).”
The Grey Cup on Dec. 12, which was the Canadian Football League’s first championship game since the COVID-19 pandemic, drew a Tim Hortons Field-record crowd of 26,324. Due to COVID-19 health protections, some of the Grey Cup week activities that the CFL regularly holds to hype its title game were cancelled.
The city says it provided about $200,000 in municipal services in support of the event. According to Sport Tourism Canada, which the CFL engaged to prepare an economic impact assessment report, the total net activity for Hamilton from the Grey CUp was $14.5 million. That was about two-thirds of the national total ($21.6M), and just over 80 per cent of the province’s gain ($18.2M).
The Grey Cup also resulted in more hotel bookings than the NHL event with 2,656, even though the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were one of the competing teams. Eighty-two per cent of out-of-town attendees stayed overnight, while 73 per cent of attendees indicated that the Grey Cup “was the sole reason for their visit to Hamilton.”
The update also notes Hamilton gained, “Positive national and international television exposure.” The viewership on TSN in Canada and ESPN in the United States is estimated at 7.9 million.
The city and the Hamilton Sports Group, the Tiger-Cats’ corporate parent, are hosting the Grey Cup again in 2023. The ’22 CFL title game will be in Regina.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising