Top eight things to know about the Crowchild Classic

From scoring tickets to winning a year’s tuition, we’ve got the deets

Katherine SharplesMount Royal University | Posted: January 12, 2023

Check out the scenes from the last Crowchild Classic in 2020 to get yourself amped for the action. The men won in overtime, and the women suffered a loss in the standings.

Whether you call it the “Classic,” the “ultimate crosstown smackdown,” or the “Saddledome Game,” what is properly named the Crowchild Classic has Mount Royal University talking.

For the first time since 2020, this special hockey doubleheader will be played in front of a packed Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday, Jan. 27. You can share in the camaraderie and school spirit (led by Calvin the Cougar, naturally) with thousands of fellow Cougars and our rivals up the road, the University of Calgary Dinos. The experience boasts an off-the-charts energy level you can feel — and hear — as soon as you walk through the arena’s doors.

The Crowchild Classic actually takes place throughout the varsity sport season across the sports of basketball, hockey, soccer, and volleyball. The university that wins the most games in the series is awarded 'The Medal,’ which is a 68-kilogram cast-iron City of Calgary manhole cover. The Saddledome games are the Classic’s marquee events of the academic year.

Here is everything you need to know to take part in the action:

1. Just the facts

On Friday, Jan. 27, the doors at the Saddledome will open at 3 p.m. for a 4 p.m. puck drop for the women’s game. The men will follow. To get in, you need to have purchased a $5 ticket. (See more on that below.) Leave the backpacks at home, as they’re not allowed in the building, and once you’re in, you’re in, due to the Saddledome’s no re-entry policy.

Concourse vendors will be open, so there will be lots of options for a quick bite or a full dinner.

Parking is available on-site for $15 per vehicle. Or, if you’re going to be partying it up, plan your trip with public transit (two convenient LRT stops are nearby), order a rideshare service or book a taxi. Plan ahead for a safe and fun time.

2. That’s the ticket!

The Classic is a guaranteed sell-out, so get your tickets early. Buy your $5 tickets in advance here (limit of eight per order), to avoid the risk of having them sell out at the door. Proceeds will be split evenly between the two universities for student wellness initiatives.

3. We’ve got spirit, yes we do!

Get your school spirit pumping at a pep rally on Main Street on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Members of the women’s and men’s Cougars hockey teams will be on hand to get the party started with help from Calvin.

Pick up your MRU swag on the Saddledome concourse. Thundersticks, stickers, tattoos and rally towels are free for students. Special Cougars wear is available now at the Cougars Campus Store, so show your school pride.

On game day, paint your face, make some signs and hashtag the heck out of all your social posts with #WearetheCougars, #CrowchildClassic, #CougNation and #BleedBlue. Wear blue and/or Cougars gear to blend into the sea that will take over half the ‘Dome. Ushers at the event will direct you to the Mount Royal fan zones (sections 212-225 and 109-119), which also include a family-friendly zone.

Enjoy happy-hour prices on hot dogs, ice cream and more from 3 to 4 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the ’Dome, the games are available on a pay-per-view live stream/on-demand at

4. Everyone’s a winner, baby!

A lucky student from MRU will win their tuition (worth $5,000) for the 2023/2024 school year at the Classic. To be eligible, you must fill out this Google Form and be ready to put your hockey skills to use to shoot to win! Everyone who fills out the form will be entered for a chance to win a smaller prize pack as well. And a limited number of commemorative rally towels will be given away at the Classic on a first-come, first-serve basis.

5. Cougars come to play

At its heart, the Classic is high-level hockey played in front of a passionate crowd that hits playoff-level decibels in its enthusiasm. Through the support of the Calgary Flames and the Flames Foundation, our Cougars get to experience hitting the ice in front of a massive crowd in an NHL facility, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for many of the players.

There’s also mainstream media coverage, and other trappings of big-league play, like change rooms, the Jumbotron and all that noise. (Did we mention it’s loud?) It’s not just a U Sports event, it’s a Calgary event.

If the evening holds to tradition, the games will be nail-biters. A single goal has determined the winner of eight of the past 14 games, and it’s not uncommon for the decisions to go to overtime.

6. Taking attendance

The 2016 Classic saw 12,859 fans packed into the ’Dome, shattering the previous U Sports hockey regular season attendance record of 8,882. It was also the best-attended game between two U Sports teams ever, topping a record set in 1968 at the national championship game between Alberta and Loyola at the Montreal Forum. Breaking records isn’t new to the Classic, as its first outing in 2012 saw it break a 42-year-old Canada West attendance record.

7. Play nice

Sure, it’s an intense match-up, but everyone is at the Classic for a good time. That includes the opposing team’s fans, Saddledome staff and event volunteers. Mount Royal students are expected to follow the Code of Student Conduct Policy. Be a good fan so everyone has a great experience. Go, Cougars!

8. We want to see our youngest cubs on the ice

MRU is looking for two youth skaters to be a part of the pregame skate with MRU Cougars hockey teams. Skaters will be selected randomly and will be notified via email on Jan. 19. Apply here.