TORONTO -- The road to the 100th Grey Cup starts on a Canada Day weekend packed with compelling story lines.
Kicking things off, Henry Burris takes the controls of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, while the defending champion British Columbia Lions host Winnipeg in a rematch of the 99th Grey Cup.
Ricky Ray debuts as the Toronto Argonauts quarterback against his former Edmonton Eskimo teammates, and one of the league’s young guns faces one of its all-time greats when Drew Tate and the Calgary Stampeders host Anthony Calvillo’s Montreal Alouettes.
And those four games - to be played as the Canadian Football League celebrates RONA Canada Day Kickoff Weekend from June 29 through July 1 - are literally just for openers.
The entire 2012 CFL schedule is full of highlights:
• The 2012 season kicks off in Hamilton with Tiger-Cat Andy Fantuz facing his former team the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
• The Argos with new head coach Scott Milanovich play their home opener against Calgary on July 7.
• The traditional Labour Day Classic returns to Hamilton as the Tiger-Cats host the Argos on September 3, with Edmonton at Calgary, Winnipeg at Saskatchewan, and B.C. at Montreal rounding out Scotiabank Labour Day Weekend.
• Tiger-Cats quarterback Henry Burris faces his former Calgary Stampeder teammates on August 9 in Hamilton.
• Saskatchewan Roughrider fans welcome new head coach Corey Chamblin at the Riders’ home opener July 8.
• The defending Grey Cup Champion British Columbia Lions, led by new head coach Mike Benevides, open with back-to-back home games, against Winnipeg June 29 and Hamilton on July 6 - giving Geroy Simon, who is just 66 yards short of the all-time CFL receiving record, an opportunity to make history at BC Place.
• The Alouettes, looking to regain top spot in the East, open their home schedule with a game against the defending divisional champion Blue Bombers on July 6.
• The final regular season game ever at venerable Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton will occur on October 27, when the Tiger-Cats host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
• Divisional match-ups abound on the final weekend of the regular season, November 1 to 3, with the Tiger-Cats in Toronto, Calgary in Edmonton, Montreal in Winnipeg and Saskatchewan in British Columbia.
Click here to view the entire schedule.
Season ticket packages for all CFL teams are on sale now. Visit CFL.ca/tickets for more details, or contact your local club. Single game tickets go on sale June 1st.
All CFL games in 2012 will be broadcast on TSN, Canada’s sports leader, with all Alouettes games carried as well on RDS. RDS2 will also broadcast 16 non-Alouette games.
Of course, the biggest highlight of the 2012 season arrives on Sunday, November 25, with the playing of the 100th Grey Cup game. It will cap a tremendous 100th Grey Cup Festival in Toronto, and a country-wide celebration of the 100th Grey Cup that will last all season long.
“We have so much planned for this year, to celebrate the true Canadian icon that is the Grey Cup, and share this historic milestone with our fellow Canadians,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate something that is uniquely ours, to celebrate how the Grey Cup has always brought us together as Canadians, and to celebrate simply being Canadian,” he said.
“It all starts with our game, and the drive of every CFL team to capture the Grey Cup. That’s why we’re so proud and excited to release our schedule for 2012. This is going to be a very special and historic year.”
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|