WATCH: Grey Cup arrives at Bayfront Park in Hamilton by helicopter

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Published December 7, 2021 at 1:25 pm

The Grey Cup arrived by helicopter at Bayfront Park in Hamilton Tuesday (Dec. 7), five days before the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers play in the 108th Grey Cup game at a sold-out Tim Hortons Field. (Anthony Urciuoli/intheHammer)

You can’t celebrate Grey Cup week without football’s oldest trophy. The Cup arrived by helicopter at Bayfront Park in Hamilton Tuesday (Dec. 7), five days before the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers play in the 108th Grey Cup game at a sold-out Tim Hortons Field.

The 112-year-old trophy arrived aboard one of two Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffons from the 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron. The other CH-146 Griffon delivered Canadian Football League (CFL) Commissioner, Randy Ambrosie.

The trophy was commissioned in 1909 by Earl Grey, then Canada’s governor general. He originally hoped to donate it for the country’s senior amateur hockey championship. After the Allan Cup was later donated for that purpose, Grey instead made his trophy available as the “Canadian Dominion Football Championship” of Canadian rugby football.

The Grey Cup has lived hard. It’s been broken on several occasions, stolen twice, and held for ransom. It even survived a 1947 fire that destroyed numerous artifacts housed in the same building.

The 108th edition of the Canadian Football League championship game will take place at Tim Hortons Field, the same hallowed ground that hosted three-down gridiron’s holy grail in 1996 when Ivor Wynne Stadium occupied the same property between Balsam and Melrose.

The Grey Cup arrived by helicopter at Bayfront Park, five days before the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers play in the 108th Grey Cup game at a sold-out Tim Hortons Field.

The 2021 Grey Cup will mark the 11th time Hamilton has hosted, but only three of those games have been played in the city’s iconic stadium. The other seven games were played at the cusp of the city’s west end at the Hamilton Amateur Athletic Association (HAAA) Grounds.

Since the 1950 merger, the Ticats have won the trophy eight times — fourth-most in the CFL. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club also recognizes all Grey Cups won by Hamilton-based teams as part of their history, which would bring their win total to 15 (the Hamilton Tigers with five, Hamilton Flying Wildcats with one and Hamilton Alerts also with one).

The Blue Bombers have won the Grey Cup 11 times — third-most.

Hamilton holds the longest Grey Cup drought in the CFL with the club’s last win coming in 1999 against the Calgary Stampeders at BC Place. Winnipeg, meanwhile, ended a 28-season title drought by defeating Hamilton 33-12 in the 2019 championship game.

 

Despite having home-field advantage this Sunday, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats opened the week as 4-point underdogs on most sportsbooks. Some books have the Bombers favoured by as much as 4.5 points.

Kickoff on Sunday is scheduled for 6 p.m. The Arkells and The Lumineers will perform during halftime.

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