After a few years apart, the Grey Cup and Vanier Cup could be realigned and played on the same weekend and in the same city once again.

Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambrosie, among many others, believes by pairing up the events once again it would be a betterment of the game across Canada at both the university and professional levels.

Following his hiring in July 2017, discussions around the unification of the big football games started to pick up steam.

However, for this to happen, the Vanier Cup will need to be moved up a week as the CFL is moving their championship game up a week starting in 2020. That means USports and its four conferences will need to make changes so they can match with the CFL. The biggest change will occur in Ontario’s OUA which is home to the largest conference.

Should the proposed partnership get finalized, the 2020 Vanier Cup would be played in Saskatchewan the Saturday of Grey Cup Weekend (November 21, 2020). The Saskatchewan Roughriders have had several serious meetings with the University of Saskatchewan where they have gone over the details of the weekend.

The pair of Championship games have been played in the same city on Grey Cup weekend four times with the last coming in 2012 in Toronto. This time around the host CFL city would take the lead on planning the Vanier Cup with their vision of Grey Cup week. The belief is that the guaranteed built-in-football audience would attend the USports Championship game since they are in town for the Grey Cup.

Another crucial part in making this all work is the CFL broadcast rights holder TSN. When the sports broadcasting network last produced Vanier Cup broadcasts the ratings for the games increased drastically.

In 2011, with the games in BC Place Stadium, an average national English audience of 660,000 turned in with close to three million checking out a part of the game which saw the McMaster Marauders win their first ever Vanier Cup in double overtime over Laval. The next year, 502,00 viewers with the French average audience checking in at 408,000 for a combined 910,000.

Purely on the numbers, TSN had a proven track record to help grow interest in USports Football. That cannot be said for SportsNet who took over the broadcasting rights of the USports championship game in 2013. If the deal is put in place, the Vanier Cup would return to TSN along with the Bowl games with conference championships and select events taking place on TSN’s digital platform.

Currently, coaches and school athletic directors are in Quebec City with conversations continuing about the partnership. If the game is to grow in Canada, this is a deal that would be beneficial to everybody at all levels.

The next two Grey Cups will be hosted by Regina, Saskatchewan (2020) and Hamilton, Ontario (2021).