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Grey Cup GM says they’ve upped the ante to make this the best one yet

Scott Ackles said his father, Bob, would certainly have been thrilled to see the B.C. Lions play again in the Grey Cup at home.

Scott Ackles said his father, Bob, would certainly have been thrilled to see the B.C. Lions play again in the Grey Cup at home.

“He was able to realize that dream in 1983 when (BC Place) opened for the first time when the B.C. Lions played against the Toronto Argonauts,” said Scott Ackles, general manager of the 2011 Grey Cup Festival committee.

“Unfortunately the team (lost by a point), but to have your team in the final in the same city where you’re hosting it is everybody’s dream.”

Having the Leos play for Canada’s ultimate football glory is the icing on the cake, he added.

“You never plan for your local team to be in the final. That rarely ever happens,” he said.

“Now, what really makes the difference is all of our fans get to enjoy having their team in the final. It brings another dimension of orange to the Grey Cup festival.”

This will be a chance to show off Vancouver and British Columbia to the rest of the country, he added.

“Seven million viewers will watch the game across the country, so it’s a massive advertising tourism commercial for Vancouver and B.C.,” he said.

He’s also not worried about the possibility of unruly fans or things getting out of hand.

“It’s a different crowd and a completely different event,” Ackles said, noting that events are family-focused and mostly indoors.

“Certainly there will be a lot of people downtown, but you’ll see the camaraderie between football fans regardless of the colour of their jerseys.

“We’ve also made plans with the city to ensure that it is a great party and that people have a lot of fun with little or no issues.”