Volume 94, Issue 18


Western hyped for Laurier

With open eyes beware

Western looking to host 2001 Vanier Cup

Western looking to host 2001 Vanier Cup

By Joel Brown

Gazette Staff

Next year's Vanier Cup may be hosted in London, as Western has informed the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union of its intention to explore the feasibility of hosting the event.

"We're interested in exploring the opportunity to bring the event to our community and campus," said chair of Intercollegiate Athletics at Western, Darwin Semotiuk.

The letter of intent, which was filed in late August, officially states Western's desire to inquire into the possibility of being host to the national university football championship.

Official bid guidelines and criteria will be available shortly, according to the CIAU, at which time Western will decide whether to launch an official bid.

"We've got to project what kind of budget would be needed and if we have the necessary volunteer interest and support that is needed to host the event," Semotiuk said. "I think we'd be an obvious choice to hold the event because of our extended football history and fan support."

Since the Western interest was only made public late last week, Semotiuk said he has been unable to gage public opinion. "I've received limited feedback, but I've have yet to hear 'that's a stupid idea' from people," he said. "All of it so far has been about what a good idea it is."

Director of operations and development for the CIAU, Tom Huisman, said he was unable to comment on whether other universities had filed letters of intent.

"We haven't done it this the way traditionally [because the event always being held at Skydome since 1989]. Once we release the guidelines people may start backing out."

Huisman sees no problem with the event being moved to London despite it's close proximity to previous host, Toronto. "We want to see the Vanier Cup in a place that would provide the best student-athlete experience," he said.

Larry Haylor, Western's football head coach, said he was pleased to hear news of the bid, despite previously speaking out against moving the Vanier Cup from its traditional Skydome venue.

"I'm supportive, I see no reason for it not to be," he said. "If it's not in the Skydome, where is there a better, more condusive environment?"

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