Riders Grey Cup History: Without Friendly Confines

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders have won four Grey Cup championships in their history. However, only three stadiums have played a part in the Riders Grey Cup history. None of those buildings will be in use for CFL games after 2016, leaving the Riders without their friendly confines when the club permanently moves out of Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field later this year.

Riders Grey Cup History: Without Their Friendly Confines

1966: 54 Years in the Making

The first chapter of this story begins in the 54th edition of the Grey Cup game at a sold out Empire Stadium in Vancouver, B.C.. The venue provided a home-like atmosphere for the western Riders.

Saskatchewan lost in eight previous tries for the championship. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride was the popular sentiment. On November 26th, 1966, Ron Lancaster‘s Riders were not to be denied. The veteran laden club, coached by Eagle Keys, out duelled the slightly favoured Ottawa Rough Riders on the strength of two fourth quarter touchdowns scored by Hugh Campbell and George Reed. The final score was 29-14 and the venue played a role.

1989: Simply the Best

The next chapter, in this history of friendly confines, moves East for the 77th Grey Cup to the then-brand new spacious and luxurious SkyDome. The sold out venue built on former railway lands in Toronto, Ontario was once again pro-Riders as hoards of Saskatchewan fans made the trip.

Torontonians naturally adopted the Riders considering the opposition Hamilton Tiger-Cats were, and still are, their most bitter rival. The game, also on the 26th day of November, was a true slobber-knocker with a whopping 83 total points scored. Widely regarded as the most exciting Grey Cup game in history, the Riders beat the favoured and fiercely competitive Tiger Cats in the dying seconds with “the Kick” off the boot of Dave Ridgway. The victory ended another long 23-year drought for the Riders and their fans.

2007: A Nation Behind Them

Fuelled by an 18-year championship famine, the Riders won a second Grey Cup at the now-called Rogers Centre in the 95th edition. The board of governors incorporated the community-owned franchise and hired CEO Jim Hopson in 2005. This movement embraced the pride and toughness always associated with the club and gave legs to a new nation — Rider Nation.

On November 25, 2007, the Riders won their third Grey Cup under head coach Kent Austin who, coincidentally, was the winning quarterback in ’89. He and his favoured Riders defeated the swagger-less Winnipeg Blue Bombers by a score of 23-19. This contest also marked the first time the Labour Day Classic foes met in a Grey Cup game.

2013: The Heroes Homecoming

The 101st Grey Cup was extremely special for Riders quarterback Darian Durant, the club itself, and all of Rider Nation. That’s because it was played, and won by the Riders, at Mosaic Stadium. To call it a capacity crowd with a decided edge for the home team is being extremely facetious.

The chilly November 24th evening, that produced the single greatest triumph in the provinces football history, did not deter a single soul from the rousing celebration that took place in the stands and spilled out into the streets post-ceremony. The Riders dominated the game in all three facets against, now opposing, Austin and his Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The final score was 45-23 in the most friendly building the Riders Grey Cup history has ever known.

20??: Riders Grey Cup History To Stay Stagnate for How Long?

There’s no doubt the Saskatchewan Roughriders organization plans to add to this list of amicable stadiums in which they’ve won a Grey Cup championship. When and where will it happen? How will they do it? With a number of connections linking these four,there’s belief that there are some contextual clues in the Riders Grey Cup history that will help answer these questions.

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