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THE MOJ: Grey Cup latest step in Doman’s bid to reconnect B.C. with the Lions

Lions owner is a man on a mission with the vision to get things done
The Grey Cup trophy sits on display before a B.C. Lions news conference where the Canadian Football League team was announced as hosts of 2024 Grey Cup, in Vancouver, on Thursday, November 3, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Amar Doman is all in.

It’s the best way to describe the owner of the B.C. Lions.

From the opening game One Republic concert to the Beatty Street block parties to pulling out all the stops for the Lions first home playoff game since 2016, Doman and his front office team have been hard at work to re-connect with fans that had soured on the organization.

Since he purchased the team last year, Doman has done his utmost to make the Lions relevant in Vancouver and B.C. with the latest splash being the announcement on Thursday that the club will host the 2024 Grey Cup.

“This was a must for us as the new Lions owners to re-introduce the Grey Cup to B.C. - but also more importantly to be able to have the opportunity to host Canada’s largest sporting event in our beautiful province and city. It was a no brainer,” Doman told me.

Win or lose against Calgary in the Western Semi-Final, one thing is for certain - the Lions have made huge strides this year when it comes to re-engaging their fan base.

“The management team, and of course the football team, are making me look good. The momentum for the playoff game is absolutely insane and it’s just evidence of the investment we have made in the Lions,” explained Doman, as the organization is expecting a crowd of well over 30,000 for the game against the Stampeders.

But years of a downward spiral when it comes to popularity can’t be overcome in a single season and Doman knows there is still plenty of hard work ahead.

“We need to listen on how we can improve the fan experience further every year. Build. Invest. Build. Invest. We are never ‘there’ - we can always do better and get better. We will also continue to push the polish of the CFL and promote it like the first-class league that it is. Yet we need to do more of the same – which is provide low costs for families. We also need to continue to invest in the community…the youth…sports…all angles. We will never stop as the Lions are a community asset. This is my mission,” stated Doman.

As for the fan experience, Doman’s goal is not only to provide an entertaining product on the field but also make a Lions game an event with so much more to offer.

“I want the fans to feel engaged as they join us – during tough seasons or good ones. Learn who our great players are – and allow us to throw you an event that you feel good about coming to. A family experience -a party experience -a first class sports experience that is affordable for families. I will ensure this happens - and man it’s exciting,” proclaimed Doman.

As for the 111th Grey Cup game, having the privilege of getting to know Amar Doman I’ve learned a few things. The man has a vision. He also has the necessary resources to act on that vision and has a solid front office staff that will execute any plan. Thus when it comes to the 2024 Grey Cup festival, it just might break the mold.

“It’s too early for details but number 111 will be notable. We think big,” he said.

Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.

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