City set to host the CFL’s 2023 championship game in November. Various additions will increase stadium capacity from approximately 24,000 to about 31,000. Pictured is an artist rendering of the South Plaza. Photo credit: Hamilton Tiger-Cats
While the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ performance on the field this season has been disappointing so far (0-3), the release of Hamilton’s Grey Cup plans for Tim Hortons Field may help to brighten the mood amongst football fans.
It was revealed that Tim Hortons Field will receive a dramatic makeover, including the installation of a loft, multiple private suites, and large grandstand seating for the big Grey Cup game. It should be noted that all new features are temporary for the event.
Hamilton is hosting the 2023 Grey Cup on Sunday, November 19 in what is the league’s 110th season.
The city also hosted the Canadian Football League (CFL) final in 2021, but most of the original plans for the stadium were only partially realized due to the lingering COVID pandemic.
To make up for it, the league awarded Hamilton the 2023 final.
And just last week, the Tiger-Cats put out an announcement with details of how Tim Hortons Field will be reimagined.
The release of the plans called the “110th Grey Cup Stadium Experience”, is included on a new webpage on the Ticats website and features artist renderings.
Teams across the league usually install temporary stands to increase stadium capacity for the finals. However, Hamilton’s plans appear to be much more creative than just a couple of extra grandstands.
With the various additions, the stadium capacity will increase from approximately 24,000 to about 31,000 people.
Scott Mitchell, Managing Partner and CEO of Hamilton Sports Group, expressed his excitement for the Grey Cup, particularly all that the venue has to offer.
“Hamilton and the greater southern Ontario region are fortunate to have a premier venue in Tim Hortons Field that is constantly evolving through innovation and that will enable us to deliver a unique and world-class fan experience for the 110th Grey Cup,” Mitchell said.
South Plaza (Mountain Side)
The 90,000 square-foot plaza on the stadium’s mountain side is normally open to the public, but will be closed off only to those with tickets for the “Grey Cup’s largest outdoor tailgate.”
It appears that organizers will extend the plaza onto Cannon Street East and erect fences so that only those with tickets can enter the area.
The plaza will be home to a stage with live music, food and beverage options, interactive games, and other pre-game activities.
The team says that food will include trucks featuring “local culinary specialties.”
South End (Mountain Side)
The south end of the stadium will see the introduction of a three-tiered platform called the “Stipley Loft” that is reserved for those with a “Grey Cup Social 2.0” ticket. Stipley is the name of the neighbourhood where the field is located.
Essentially a standing-room social area, the three-level loft is located directly across from the video board.
The Stipley Loft will also have ground-level food, beverage, and retail options.
The south end will also be home to 12 new “Touchdown Lounge Suites” which are private suites spanning sideline to sideline bordering the endzone. The suites will offer “all premium amenities.”
North End (Lake Side)
The north end will feature the halftime show stage and will have large grandstands that will seat approximately 4,000 people on each side of the video board behind the stage.
Between the 35-yard lines are private box seats. The new concept has already been launched for both Forge FC games and Ticats games for the remainder of the season.
The nine boxes are located on the east-end concourse in an area that used to be standing room spots.
Tickets for the Grey Cup are currently only available to Ticats season ticket holders but will be available to the public to purchase on Saturday, July 1 at 10am ET on Ticketmaster.
Organizers will be releasing further details, such as who will be performing at the halftime show, in the coming weeks.
The 2021 Hamilton halftime show featured Arkells, The Lumineers, and K.Flay.
Based in Hamilton, he reaches hundreds of thousands of people monthly on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. He has been published in The Hamilton Spectator, Stoney Creek News, and Bay Observer. He has also been a segment host with Cable 14 Hamilton. In 2017, he received the Chancellor Full Tuition Scholarship from the University of Ottawa (BA, 2022). He has also received the Governor General’s Academic Medal. He formerly worked in a non-partisan role on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.