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U Sports announces Regina, Quebec City to host 2025, '26 Vanier Cup games

Vanier Cup Vanier Cup - The Canadian Press

KINGSTON, Ont. — The Vanier Cup will head to Saskatchewan for the first time.

U Sports announced Saturday the '25 Vanier Cup will be played in Regina. The 60th edition of Canadian university football's championship game will go at Mosaic Stadium and coincide with the University of Regina's 50th anniversary.

It will be just the third time ever the Vanier Cup is held in Western Canada.

Laval defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies 13-8 in 2006 in Saskatoon. Five years later, the McMaster Marauders edged the Rouge et Or 41-38 in double overtime in Vancouver.

U Sports also announced Quebec City will host the '26 Vanier Cup. It has staged the game seven times.

The '25 game will also mark the 25th anniversary of Regina's only Vanier Cup appearance, The Ottawa Gee-Gees edged the Rams 42-39 in 2000 in Toronto.

Slotback Jason Clermont — a Grey Cup champion, the CFL's top rookie and twice its outstanding Canadian — played for the Rams, both in the Canadian Junior Football League and collegiate level. The 45-year-old Regina native suited up for the 2000 Vanier Cup, scoring a TD.

"We had intentions of getting back and doing it again, it just didn't work out for us," he said. "But it (playing in Vanier Cup) was definitely one of the highlights of my university career.

"People (attending the '25 Vanier Cup) can expect hospitality. We'd like to see representation from Saskatchewan in that game but regardless, the community will definitely be out in full force to support the game and create a great atmosphere."

Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U Sports' Chief Sport Officer, agreed.

"If you look at past national events that have taken place in Regina like the Memorial Cup and Grey Cup, they've always had tremendous success," she said. "It's the Prairies, the hospitality is always terrific.

"It's been 13 years since the Vanier Cup was last out West and Regina is a vibrant community with an unwavering commitment to excellence in athletics, especially with two universities. For the student-athlete experience and for fans, Mosaic is a great stadium."

Dr. Jeff Keshen, Regina's president and vice-chancellor, credited Saskatoon with assisting in the school's winning bid.

"We're thrilled," he said. "It's coming back to what I consider to be the epicentre of football in Canada.

"I'm originally from Toronto and used to go see our Argos play all the time at old CNE Stadium but, man, what was Taylor Field and is now Mosaic, it's a rocking place. To say we're happy would be an understatement but to say we're over the moon about it would be more accurate."

Johnson-Stapley also praised the game's return to the University of Laval in 2026. The school has won the Vanier Cup a record 11 times.

"The decision was straightforward considering Laval's proven excellence in organizing U Sports championships," she said. "We have no doubt Quebec City's football fans will offer unwavering support, creating another outstanding event in 2026."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2023.