News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

July 20, 2020


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Committing $2.5 million as Part of Winnipeg's CFL Hub City Bid: Premier

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The Manitoba government is launching an $8 million #RestartMB Event Attraction Strategy and making a bid to be the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) hub city in fall 2020, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.
“Manitoba is leading in recovery with a safe plan to restart our economy, which is why we are ready to make another important investment that supports the restart of our economy and invite the CFL to safely play its shortened 2020 season in Winnipeg,” said Pallister. “We are excited to work with Travel Manitoba and key economic stakeholders to develop our #RestartMB Event Attraction Strategy that will benefit the entire provincial economy, but in particular, the hardest-hit sectors of tourism and hospitality, namely restaurants and hotels.”
As part of the #RestartMB program, the province is accelerating an $8-million Event Attraction Strategy that aims to maximize the potential of Winnipeg and rural destinations to host large-scale meetings, conventions and events, while carefully balancing public health considerations with the ongoing efforts to restart the Manitoba economy. 
The province is committing $2.5 million from that fund should Winnipeg be selected as the CFL hub city, the premier noted. He added the provincial funding must be spent on eligible expenses, which include:
food and accommodations,
practice field rentals,
group transportation, and
event-specific expenses in Manitoba.
The CFL has conducted extensive consultations with Public Health, and the CFL’s hub city plan for Winnipeg has been thoroughly reviewed by Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer.
“The health and safety of all Manitobans and all participants is paramount,” Roussin said. “CFL teams and anyone associated with the hub city will be expected to follow all protocols as reviewed by Public Health, at all times.”
The premier noted the province’s investment of $2.5 million would result in substantial economic spinoffs if Winnipeg were named as the CFL hub city. A recent economic impact analysis estimates approximately 800 participants would result in the equivalent of 55,000 hotel room night stays, which would generate approximately $3.8 million for the provincial economy. It also estimates $45 million in business sales and $4.5 million in direct tax would be generated. Should Winnipeg win the full bid to serve as hub city, it would serve as the backdrop for 60 football games televised across Canada and the CFL has indicated the 108th Grey Cup game would be played in Winnipeg.
“Sports, and particularly the CFL and our beloved ‘Blue and Gold’, is intertwined into Manitoba culture,” said Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox. “As a CFL hub city, we would be so proud to showcase our beautiful province, and from a safe distance, cheer on our Blue Bombers as they defend their 2019 Grey Cup championship title.”
The premier noted Manitoba has a long and proud history of hosting major world-class events such as the Pan American Games, the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, FIFA Women's World Cup, the Canada Summer Games, Brier, the Juno Awards and numerous Grey Cup championships.
The province is in the process of putting together an event committee that will work with the CFL and the Winnipeg Football Club to successfully serve as a hub city.
At the conclusion of a CFL hub city event, the province would require a final report that details actual expenditures, the premier noted.
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