2008 Grey Cup coveted

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

Securing a Grey Cup game for Calgary is a priority for the Calgary Stampeders' new ownership group.

"There's no question we will be aggressively pursuing the Grey Cup," insisted Ted Hellard, one of the club's three managing directors.

A Grey Cup game likely would provide a financial windfall for the new owners.

CFL commissioner Tom Wright, on hand at yesterday's press conference, said it's far too early to pencil in Calgary for the 2007 Classic, the next available date.

This year's Grey Cup will be played in Vancouver; next year's in Winnipeg.

But the league boss confirmed the CFL board of governors -- which votes on the Grey Cup site -- is excited with new ownership in the Stampede City and eventually moving the game here is a natural progression.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," Wright said.

"I can tell you our board of governors is excited with and looking forward to welcoming the new ownership group to our league and I have every confidence the Calgary Stampeders will return to and continue to build that cornerstone franchise position in our league."

For more than 20 years, Wright has been friends with John Forzani, one of three managing directors in the Stamps' new ownership group.

He met in Calgary with Forzani and former owner Michael Feterik a year ago to start the ball rolling for a potential sale that came to fruition yesterday.

"It's the role the league played," Wright said, dismissing his own influence.

"There was a confidence level this group had with the direction the league is going in and the strength of ownership that has been attracted to Toronto and Hamilton.

"John and myself had an opportunity to talk very candidly about this (franchise).

"I have a great respect for him and a great trust and we spent a lot of time just talking about how important this team is to this country and this community."

Although it's believed the local group paid more than $6 million for the franchise, teams in Hamilton and Toronto were acquired before last season at bargain rates.

Both Hamilton and Toronto had struggled financially, reducing their value

But the Stampeders have enjoyed strong fan support since the late 1980s and have averaged more than 30,000 per game in recent years.


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