Wednesday, 29 November 2017

That's The Ticket!

OK, so now that we have resolved the annual question "How will the Stampeders blow the Grey Cup this year?" - Answer : In never-happened-before-in-104-years, setting-multiple-all-time-distance-of-play-going-against-you-records, carve-your-franchise-name-in-stone-as-the-greatest-CFL-choke-artists-ever fashion.

You knew it was going to happen, you didn't know who or how or when or what, but sure enough when the opportunity presented itself to literally give the game and the championship away to an opponent they had thoroughly dominated almost all night long, they did exactly that in a way that makes snatching defeat from the jaws of victory a brutal understatement. And then having somehow miraculously managed to put themselves back in the position to at least tie the game, they decide to piss it all away again on a low percentage, risky, unnecessary, under thrown long pass to a five foot nothing receiver who was not open and was double covered. Brilliant...

And related to the theme this month's post will look at the popular collectible category of CFL Grey Cup tickets.



Vintage Grey Cup tickets from the fifties are fairly basic in
design but still attractive and sought after



The earliest ticket image I can seem to find right now is this 1952 complete ticket that was obviously not used. I guess papering the house was not unknown even back then. 


Grey Cup tickets are not particularly rare (although obviously the older they are the fewer have survived) with examples from the sixties onward being relatively easy to accumulate if a collector was to put their mind to it.




As you can see from the above two images some games had different coloured tickets,
probably for different price levels meaning there is more to collect than just one item per year


Obviously the better the condition of the ticket, and whether or not the stub had been torn off has a significant effect on the price, with a NRMT vintage ticket probably being at least 2 to 3 times more valuable than an EX+ ticket with missing stub.



By 1965 there was some variation in the ticket graphics


From 1970 to at least 1978 the tickets used almost the exact same design every year making that decade probably the least interesting era of championship ticket.






Of course if you search out this material you will eventually come across other ephemera related to the game but not specifically a game ticket, such as the Manitoba Lottery ticket below.


This lottery ran for many years but was not
legally allowed to use the term Grey Cup


By the mid eighties tickets had started to feature regular photographic images and foil stamping or holographic effects. Some tickets from some eighties championship games were undersold and there are plenty of unused items on the market so they are only worth a few dollars per ticket.




Some collectors will specialize in only Grey Cup tickets where their favorite team participated, or more commonly where their favorite team managed to win!


One whimsical additional series of ephemera that can be collected for the eighties championship match ups are these SunLife turncoat tags that measure very roughly somewhere around 9" X 7"



These are team specific on each side so you can instantly change allegiance during the game,
issued from at least 1981 through 1986



Turn of the decade into the last years of the century and Grey Cup tickets start to get larger and as you might expect have incrementally higher face values.




As evidenced by the 1996 ticket on the right, surplus blanks were sometimes printed with the results and issued solely as keepsake collectibles after the fact 





Of course the cup continues to feature prominently on designs of this century as well.
Foil stamping, die cutting and eventually anti-counterfeiting measures are part of the tickets.


Despite the glossy nature of the premium commemorative tickets it is still possible to find more mundane objects related to the game as shown below.



1997 Tim Hortons Grey Cup contest coupon from Edmonton and
a regular ticketmaster style non-premium ticket to the 2015 game in Winnipeg



In 2012 for the 100th Anniversary of the Grey Cup game, the league issued 4 different tickets with four legendary Grey Cup winners on them and they look to have been printed on plastic with holes for stringing onto a lanyard.



Doug Flutie and Lionel Conacher on 2012 tickets.
Russ Jackson and Normie Kwong were the other two players produced.


So there you have it, there are no shortage of Grey Cup themed tickets and associated bits of ephemera to collect that will likely bring back great memories of games and titles won by your favorite team in decades past. Just so long as you do not have the gut wrenching misfortune to be a Stampeders fan.


   

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