Breaking: Grey Cup to come to BC Place in 2014

The BC Lions are expected to announce Friday morning at a BC Place news conference that the 102nd Grey Cup is coming to Vancouver in ...

The BC Lions, Grey Cup Champions 2011

The BC Lions are expected to announce Friday morning at a BC Place news conference that the 102nd Grey Cup is coming to Vancouver in 2014.

BC Lions’ president Dennis Skulsky told Business in Vancouver this morning that the Canadian Football League board of governors has chosen a site for the game and chief operating officer Michael Copeland is scheduled to be in Vancouver for the 9:30 a.m. news conference.

“It’s a major news announcement, as to what it’s about we’ve always got things on the go with the team,” Skulsky told BIV.

Asked if the announcement will be about B.C. getting the 2014 championship, Skulsky said: “I think that’s a safe assumption.”

BC Pavilion Corp. (PavCo), the Crown operator of the stadium, disclosed a $2.7 million taxpayer grant in its February 19-published service plan to bid for the game. Winnipeg was expected to be the 2014 host, but construction of the Blue Bombers’ new stadium is behind schedule.

BC Place hosted the Grey Cup for the eighth time in 2011, almost two months after reopening from a $514 million renovation. Hosting rights cost taxpayers $1.8 million in 2011.

Sources say Premier Christy Clark is expected to attend the Friday news conference. One year ago this week, the BC Liberal government was in damage control after cancelling a 20-year, $40 million deal with Telus to rename BC Place as Telus Park.

Clark and the BC Liberals are hungry to end the week with good news, after resisting calls by the NDP for independent investigations into the ethnic vote wooing and Wood Innovation and Design procurement scandals.

In January, Auditor General John Doyle began examining the BC Place renovation costs. Last month, steel contractor Canam Group increased its countersuit claim against cable installer Freyssinet to $39.7 million. A 100-day trial in B.C. Supreme Court is scheduled to begin October 21. PavCo is listed as a defendant in the Freyssinet claim for $6.5 million.

BMackin@biv.com

@bobmackin

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