Carleton 14, Ottawa 6
|Latest meeting||October 2, 2021|
Ottawa 19, Carleton 17
|Stadiums||TD Place Stadium|
|Trophy||Pedro the Panda (3rd Version)|
|All-time series||Ottawa leads, 35–17|
|Largest victory||Ottawa, 44–0 (1957)|
|Longest win streak||Ottawa, 7 (1957–1963)|
|Current win streak||Ottawa, 3 (2018–present)|
The Panda Game is a Canadian rivalry football game between the two OUA football teams in Ottawa, Ontario, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton University Ravens. It is one of the oldest and richest rivalries in Canadian university football. Its name is derived from the trophy presented to the winner each year; Pedro the Panda. The game is part of the regular East division season, but is celebrated profusely due to its history, the week preceding the game sometimes referred to as "Panda Week". uOttawa is located in the downtown Sandy Hill neighbourhood of the city, while Carleton is between Old Ottawa South and Dow's Lake.
In 1955, Bryan McNulty, a University of Ottawa student and associate editor for the Fulcrum and Thomas White, decided to promote the rivalry between their school and Carleton University. They asked a local jeweller, Jack Snow, to donate a stuffed panda that would be named "Pedro" to be used as a Gee-Gee mascot (as they had not adopted the Gee-Gee horse mascot yet). McNulty and White later convinced Snow to display the panda in his front window and then organized the first "Pandanapping", a ritual in which Pedro would be stolen from each campus in various ways. "Pandanapping" would progress over the years to the point where major vandalism was involved and almost jeopardized the game's future.
In a short matter of time, both Pedro and the Panda Game itself became national icons. In 1958, after a 25–0 Gee-Gee victory, Pedro went on a world tour. He made visits to McGill University in Montréal, Dalhousie University in Halifax, the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, UCLA in Los Angeles, and Alabama State University in Montgomery. It is said that Pedro was even sent to Peru, Mexico and Europe.
The game quickly became the most well-known football game in Canada behind the Grey Cup and the Vanier Cup. The attendance at the Panda Game one year exceeded 16,000, which was higher than that of the Vanier Cup that same season.
By the time the 1980s had come, the Panda Game had gained a reputation for being a drunken party more than a football game.
The 1987 edition brought heavily packed stands, eventually leading to the snap of a railing. 30 Ravens fans fell roughly 16 feet onto concrete. Many students sustained broken bones and concussions, while one female student broke her neck and spent 20 days in a coma.
The future of the Panda Game was in doubt after the incident, but the tradition ultimately carried on. The 1988 game was heavily monitored by police and there was a general lack of enthusiasm about the event.
In 1998, it was decided that Carleton University would be cancelling their football program at the end of the season after numerous years of sustained financial losses. This decision rendered the Panda Game tradition dead and left the Gee-Gees as the lone collegiate football team in the city for the first time in 53 years.
The late 2000s brought rumours that Carleton may once again look to field a football team sometime in the near future. After years of planning, in 2013 the Ravens once again took the field and would mark the return of the Panda Game tradition. 2013's Panda Game was a success with approximately 4,000 fans packing the brand-new Gee-Gees Field, the game resulted in the Gee-Gees getting their hands on a Pedro trophy after a dominant 35–10 win.
The 2020 Panda Game was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was announced that the 2014 Panda Game was to be held at the newly renovated 24,000 seat TD Place Stadium, becoming the first time the game returned to its former home at Lansdowne Park.
The Panda Game in 2014 was another wildly successful venture, the use of TD Place saw the crowd grow to 12,000 as the Ravens came away with a last second Hail Mary catch to win the game 33–31. Fans immediately stormed the field, and to this day the game remains unfinished, as the extra point was never kicked among the frenzy.
The 2015 edition saw a then-record attendance of 17,596. It was also the highest scoring Panda Game of all time with a combined score of 93 points, crushing the previous record of 77 points in 1975.
In 2016, the No. 7 ranked Gee-Gees came into the game undefeated (4–0) as they faced the No. 10 Ravens (3–2). Surpassing the previous season's record attendance mark, the 2016 Panda Game was a sellout as 23,329 fans at TD Place Stadium watched Carleton defeat Ottawa 43–23. It was the most attended U Sports football regular season football game in at least two decades.
|Year||Site||Winning team||Score||Losing team||Score||Series tally||Notes|
|1955||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||14||Ottawa||6||CAR 1–0||First official Panda Game|
|1956||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||14||Ottawa||10||CAR 2–0|
|1957||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||44||Carleton||0||CAR 2–1||Biggest blowout in Panda Game history|
|1958||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||23||Carleton||0||TIE 2–2|
|1959||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||42||Carleton||0||OTT 3–2|
|1960||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||28||Carleton||6||OTT 4–2|
|1961||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||13||Carleton||12||OTT 5–2|
|1962||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||13||Carleton||10||OTT 6–2|
|1963||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||41||Carleton||21||OTT 7–2|
|1964||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||40||Ottawa||33||OTT 7–3|
|1965||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||27||Carleton||19||OTT 8–3|
|1966||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||28||Carleton||13||OTT 9–3|
|1967||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||36||Carleton||20||OTT 10–3|
|1968||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||28||Carleton||27||OTT 11–3|
|1969||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||21||Ottawa||20||OTT 11–4|
|1970||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||29||Carleton||20||OTT 12–4|
|1971||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||28||Ottawa||14||OTT 12–5|
|1972||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||31||Carleton||14||OTT 13–5|
|1973||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||21||Carleton||14||OTT 14–5|
|1974||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||48||Carleton||7||OTT 15–5|
|1975||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||55||Carleton||22||OTT 16–5||Gee-Gees go on to win National Championship|
|1976||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||19||Carleton||14||OTT 17–5|
|1977||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||36||Ottawa||16||OTT 17–6|
|1978||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||24||Ottawa||13||OTT 17–7|
|1979||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||28||Carleton||16||OTT 18–7||1st Pedro retires|
|1980||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||30||Ottawa||21||OTT 18–8|
|1981||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||29||Carleton||0||OTT 19–8|
|1982||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||19||Carleton||7||OTT 20–8|
|1983||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||28||Ottawa||23||OTT 20–9|
|1984||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||30||Ottawa||18||OTT 20–10|
|1985||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||34||Ottawa||27||OTT 20–11|
|1986||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||30||Carleton||29||OTT 21–11|
|1987||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||8||Ottawa||4||OTT 21–12||See "1987 Tragedy"|
|1988||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||29||Carleton||9||OTT 22–12|
|1989||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||23||Carleton||11||OTT 23–12|
|1990||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||30||Carleton||17||OTT 24–12|
|1991||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||34||Carleton||15||OTT 25–12|
|1992||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||17||Carleton||6||OTT 26–12|
|1993||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||21||Carleton||3||OTT 27–12|
|1994||Lansdowne Park||Carleton||27||Ottawa||15||OTT 27–13|
|1995||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||35||Carleton||8||OTT 28–13|
|1996||Lansdowne Park||Ottawa||28||Carleton||0||OTT 29–13|
|1997||Keith Harris Stadium||Ottawa||22||Carleton||19||OTT 30–13|
|1998||Keith Harris Stadium||Ottawa||59||Carleton||17||OTT 31–13||Ravens team cancelled following season|
|2013||Gee-Gees Field||Ottawa||35||Carleton||10||OTT 32–13||Triumphant return of Panda Game|
|2014||TD Place Stadium||Carleton||33||Ottawa||31||OTT 32–14||Last second Hail Mary catch|
|2015||TD Place Stadium||Carleton||48||Ottawa||45||OTT 32–15||Overtime victory, highest scoring game in Panda history|
|2016||TD Place Stadium||Carleton||43||Ottawa||23||OTT 32–16||Sellout crowd (23,329)|
|2017||TD Place Stadium||Carleton||33||Ottawa||30||OTT 32–17||Overtime victory, Sellout crowd (24,420)|
|2018||TD Place Stadium||Ottawa||38||Carleton||27||OTT 33–17||50th Panda Game|
|2019||TD Place Stadium||Ottawa||32||Carleton||10||OTT 34–17||Attendance record (24,600)|
|2021||TD Place Stadium||Ottawa||19||Carleton||17||OTT 35–17|