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Fans travel across the country to London, Ont. to see Laval win Vanier Cup


They’ve travelled from across the country to see their sons, brothers, and alma mater compete for the Vanier Cup.

"We were all able to find some flights out here, find some hotels, and we probably got a couple hundred fans," says Kelly Haas, whose son plays for the University of Saskatchewan

As players excited the bus at Western’s Alumni Stadium, Huskies’ supporters were there.

"We bought our bells, we’ve got the flag and we're gonna cheer for our boys now," says Tracy Hundeby, a mother of a Huskies player.

Just a few feet away, a group of Laval supporters had come from Montreal to root for the Rouge Et Or.

"It's so exciting to be back," says Patrick Malefant, who was wearing a crusader helmet.

"It's been a couple of years since Laval was in the big game. Every time we're in the big game we play well, we win big, and we're ready for war."

A group of nearly 40 men in Santa suits travel to the Vanier Cup each year. This year they were in London, Ont. to see the USports championship game. (Source: Brent Lale/CTV London)A group of nearly 40 men in Santa suitsSome tailgating in the parking lot had no affiliation to either team. A group of about 40 men dressed in Santa outfits have been travelling to the Vanier Cup for 30 years.

"We went to (Sir Wilfrid) Laurier and they won the Vanier in 1991," says Brent Landers, from London, Ont.

"We kind of started our little tradition of getting together at the venue cup every year. We have guys from London, Ottawa, and all over and we've been all across the country from Vancouver to Quebec City, Montreal, Regina."

Hosting their first USports national title game, Western University and Tourism London wanted to make this an event. A fan fest featuring Damian Warner, and former Mustangs was held prior to the game.

Western Grad Andy Fantuz felt some love from ‘Rider Nation’.

Former Western Mustang and CFL Legend Andy Fantuz (Left) signs an autograph at Vanier Cup Fan Fest in London, Ont. (Source: Brent Lale/CTV London)Andy Fantuz"You can see the excitement from all around the league," says Fantuz.

"Lots of Laval and Saskatchewan fans, lots of Mustang support from London. Mustang national deserves it and they're doing it right."

Inside the stadium, Laval beat Saskatchewan 30-24 in an exciting game to win their 11th Vanier Cup title, 10th under head coach Glen Constantin.

This may have been the first time that Western hosted the Vanier Cup but it likely won't be the last. Rumours are circulating that they plan for the bidding on the National Championship game in 2024. Top Stories

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