The Grey Cup vs The Super Bowl: How the Big Two Stack Up

If you ask any sports fan to name the biggest game in American Football most of them would probably name the Super Bowl.

In terms of global reach the NFL’s championship game is unsurpassed, but the story is not quite as cut and dried in North America.

The upcoming Grey Cup clash between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats is one of the most eagerly anticipated sports events in Canada.

As highlighted by recent research carried out by Betway, the Grey Cup is hugely popular with Canadian sports fans.

Over the last 25 editions, a total of 1,238,196 people have attended the Grey Cup – a figure that has been limited by the size of stadiums in Canada.

The biggest venue in the country is the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, which can be expanded to a capacity of around 66,000 for football.

By contrast, the bigger capacity of venues such as the Rose Bowl and the Cowboys Stadium has allowed 1,771,947 people to attend the Super Bowl during the same timeframe.

Comparing television viewing figures between the Grey Cup and the Super Bowl is another eye-opener regarding the popularity of gridiron in Canada.

An average of 4.48million people in Canada have watched the CFL championship game since 2010, compared to the 6.58m who tuned into watch the NFL equivalent.

The highest ever TV audience for a Grey Cup was in 2012, when 13m unique Canadian viewers watched at least some of the game.

That figure is dwarfed by the 18.7m who tuned in to watch Super Bowl LIV in 2020, with the actual number likely to be higher with many fans catching live NFL streams online instead of switching on their TVs.

However, it is worth noting that the NFL receives much greater attention from broadcasters, with many viewing the CFL as the NFL’s poorer cousin.

While the in-person attendances and TV audiences for both events are impressive, where the CFL really shines is in the entertainment stakes.

With its wider field, extra receiver and unlimited movement before the snap, the CFL has historically marketed itself as more fan-friendly alternative to the NFL.

That point is highlighted to perfection by the respective points totals accumulated between the Grey Cup and the Super Bowl over the past 25 editions.

The CFL championship game has seen 1,312 points scored, while 1,201 points were scored in the Super Bowl during that period.

Another area where the Grey Cup could be argued to at least match the Super Bowl is in the artists they attract to their half-time shows.

Some of the biggest names in the history of music have graced Super Bowl, including the Rolling Stones, Prince, Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga.

While the Grey Cup half-time show is much smaller in comparison, it has still attracted major stars such as Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Nickelback and Justin Bieber.

In terms of global prestige, the Super Bowl undoubtedly blows the Grey Cup out of the water, but the CFL’s championship game does make a big splash on the domestic front.

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