The ‘Caretaker’ recognized for his incredible role in turning around Hamilton’s beloved Tiger-Cats

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NIAGARA FALLS, ONT. (November 16, 2023) – The self-described ‘Caretaker’ of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is this year’s recipient of the Commissioner’s Award – one of the Canadian Football League’s most prestigious honours.

“When Bob Young purchased the team in 2003, it had a storied past, but faced a very uncertain future,” said Randy Ambrosie, the CFL’s Commissioner.

“Today, the Tiger-Cats are strong, stable and successful. They play in a beautiful venue and they are the epitome of a modern sports franchise. They are the cornerstone property of the Hamilton Sports Group, which is quickly emerging as a major force in sports and entertainment. Bob may not quite look the part, with his slender build and trademark baseball cap, but he’s a football hero.”

Young often speaks of his late brother Mike, who had been the most passionate Ticats fan in the family, as the inspiration for his football journey. He often adds that he does not own the Tiger-Cats; he is simply taking care of the franchise because it belongs to the millions of people – in Hamilton and around the world – that have the same passion for the team that Mike always displayed.

“Like so many from his hometown, Bob is as self-deprecating as he is strategic, smart and successful,” Ambrosie said.

“As much as he walks softly, though, Bob always carries a big vision. And while he likes to give the credit to his teammates in the Tiger-Cats organization – and they have done a great job – it’s truly Bob that has made the team stronger, the community of fans larger, and the future of the organization, brighter and more secure.”

The Commissioner’s Award has been presented since 1990 to an individual or individuals who have demonstrated dedication, and have made a significant contribution, to Canadian football. Past winners have included former Tiger-Cat Bernie Custis, the CFL’s first black quarterback, Russ Jackson, a legendary CFL quarterback from the Ottawa Rough Riders, Hugh Campbell, a ten-time Grey Cup champion who coached the Edmonton Eskimos dynasty, and many more.

The award was presented as part of the CFL Awards during the Grey Cup Festival from November 13-19, which includes over 40 events to captivate football fans, music lovers, athletes and families alike. It features events organized by various community organizations, such as Sonic Unyon (Supercrawl), Around the Bay and Hamilton Santa Claus Parade, among others that are contributing to building a contemporary Hamilton. Additional information, event listings and full details can be found at

The 110th Grey Cup will be played in Hamilton at Tim Hortons Field on Sunday, November 19 with kickoff slated for 6 p.m. ET. The sold-out championship contest, featuring Green Day in the Twisted Tea Grey Cup Halftime Show, will be available live across the nation on TSN and RDS – Canada’s home of the CFL, online through CFL+ for all international viewers, as well as on SiriusXM’s Canada Talks (ch. 167).

Lucas Barrett Associate Vice-President, Communications & Public Affairs, Canadian Football League
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