I was wondering about the 59k out-of-town visitor figure as well. The GC attendance was 54,313, and the article estimates 33% of game attendees were non-locals, or about 18.1k. So does that mean over 40k came to town even though they were very unlikely, barring a second hand purchase, to attend the game in person? I can see some people coming just for the parties during the preceding days, but wouldn't think the figure to be that high. There were probably some assumptions built into the extraction of these numbers that we haven't been told of.
I just found this link as I type so haven't reviewed it fully yet, but seems to be a more detailed article on the Lions' website here:
http://www.bclions.com/article/grey-cup ... 18-million
Sports can be a peculiar thing. When partaking in fiction, like a book or movie, we adopt a "Willing Suspension of Disbelief" for enjoyment's sake. There's a similar force at work in sports: "Willing Suspension of Rationality". If you doubt this, listen to any conversation between rival team fans. You even see it among fans of the same team. Fans argue over who's the better QB or goalie, and selectively cite stats that support their views while ignoring those that don't.