The Ottawa RedBlacks say tickets for the 2017 Grey Cup are moving at a brisk pace, which is welcome news for the CFL after organizers of the 2016 league championship in Toronto struggled to fill the stands.
The RedBlacks said in a release Wednesday that fewer than 6,000 tickets remain for the 105th Grey Cup, which will be held Nov. 26 at TD Place and will coincide with Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.
The RedBlacks' home stadium will be expanded from 24,000 seats to approximately 35,000 to accommodate the game.
Tickets are currently only available to season-ticket holders and fans that purchase a five-game "Home Opener Ticket Pack." The remaining Grey Cup tickets will be released on a first-come, first-serve basis on June 8.
The Grey Cup is part of a “Triple Crown” of major events – which also includes the Juno Awards, held earlier this year, and an outdoor NHL game scheduled for December – that tourism officials sought to add even more buzz surrounding the celebrations marking Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Retailers around Lansdowne Park have previously called the 2017 Grey Cup "a gift" to the local economy.
The CFL is hoping to avoid a repeat of last year, when the Toronto Argonauts had trouble filling BMO Field.
The Argonauts slashed ticket prices in an effort to fill the 35,000-seat facility, while TSN, the CFL's television partner, offered its employees up to five free tickets for the marquee game between the Redblacks and Calgary Stampeders.
The CFL was also forced to stop a Pizza Pizza promotion offering Grey Cup tickets as part of a $29.99 package that also included a large three-topping pizza, 10 chicken wings, four cans of pop and two dipping sauces.
The last time Ottawa hosted the Grey Cup was in 2004, during the second coming of football in the nation's capital when TD Place was known as Frank Clair Stadium and the team was known as the Renegades.
-With files from OBJ staff