Queen's University to host Vanier Cup in 2023, 2024

There was a big announcement at Queen's University as Richardson Stadium has been named host for the 2023 & 2024 Vanier Cups

There was some big Canadian sporting news out of Kingston, Ont., on Thursday, as U Sports, the country’s university athletics governing body, announced that Queen’s University and Richardson Stadium will host the 2023 and 2024 Vanier Cups.

There’s still snow on the seats, and even snow on the field. Late March isn’t when you’d expect to be talking football in Kingston.

And as construction continues on Richardson Stadium’s new end-zone pavilion, Queen’s University has been given an opportunity to show off the addition on one of the country’s biggest stages.

“We’ve had outstanding teams over the years, and it’ll be wonderful to bring together our best athletes to celebrate football, and the quality of Canadian football on our own campus,” Queen’s University principal Patrick Deane said.

City, university and USports officials made the announcement Thursday.

Queen’s did submit a bid to host the games, but the courting began in 2016 once the multi-million-dollar renovations to Richardson Stadium were complete.

“I had begun conversations with Queen’s a few years ago, asking if they’d ever be interested in it. So the facility, the city itself, where it is in Ontario along the 401 corridor, it just offered so much,” U Sports Chief Sport Officer Lisette Johnson-Stapley said.

The Vanier Cup is the pinnacle of Canadian university football.

The Tri-Colour has four national championships under its belt, with the last coming in 2009.

Now, with the opportunity to with their fifth on home turf, the focus is clear:

“Our goal is to play in the game for sure,” Gaels head coach Steve Snyder said.

“Our expectations are through the roof and this just adds to it,” linebacker Sterling Seunarine added.

“I think our program is trending in the right direction right now. Getting the bid for the Vanier is awesome but it doesn’t really change our mindset. We want to be playing in it no matter if it’s at Queen’s or anywhere else in the country,” quarterback Alex Vreeken said.

Snyder adds that while there is more incentive to make the Vanier Cup over the next two years, it’s the team’s goal heading into every season.

But he admits playing in, and winning, a national title in front of the home crowd would make for a story-book ending.

“Student-athletes from across the country, this is what they work for and our guys are certainly no different. It would be a pretty special moment for them,” Snyder said.

The quest for the Vanier Cup begins Aug. 26, when the Gaels host the Laurier Golden Hawks.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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