SBD/July 18, 2014/Franchises

Tickets In High Demand For RedBlacks Home Opener, CFL's Return To Ottawa

The CFL is "back in Ottawa for a third incarnation" as the RedBlacks host the Argonauts on Friday in the team’s inaugural game at TD Place Stadium, the "first time CFL football has been played in Ottawa" since '05, according to Curtis Rush of the TORONTO STAR. The stadium, which was "still going through its finishing touches on Thursday, will host a sell-out crowd of 24,000 fans." In attendance will be Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is "among 17,000 season ticket holders." RedBlacks President Jeff Hunt said that his "biggest worry is transportation because there is limited parking at the stadium and in the neighbourhood." Fans have been "encouraged to take buses and shuttles positioned around the city, with free boarding if you produce a football ticket" (TORONTO STAR, 7/18). In Ottawa, Blair Crawford notes Friday's game "sold out a month ago." Tickets on StubHub "ranged from" $167-450 (all figures U.S.). Meanwhile, had "about a dozen tickets Thursday morning ranging from $125 to $336 each for a pair of 'Club' tickets in Section 109 on the south side" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 7/18). CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon said of Ottawa's return, "It's taken some time, but it's been well worth the wait." Asked if it was a necessary move, Cohon said, "The term I've been using is we had a hole in the heart of the CFL, but now we're back in the nation's capital. The skeptics would say, 'What about the fan base here?' The fact there's 17,000 season tickets says there's a strong base here. People always loved their football. We just had to do it in the right conditions -- with the right ownership, the right stadium, the right team and the right corporate support, the fans would come" (OTTAWA SUN, 7/18).
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