Circle Your Calendars: CFL releases 2021 schedule
TORONTO — The 2021 Canadian Football League schedule kicks off Thursday, August 5th when the reigning Grey Cup Champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in an epic rematch 620 days in the making.
The first CFL game since the same two teams met in the 107th Grey Cup on November 24, 2019, the highly anticipated contest will mark the league’s comeback from a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re so excited to kick off this season,” said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the CFL. “Excited for our players, our coaches, our partners and especially our fans, who have stuck with us and stood by us. It’s going to be a great season leading to a Grey Cup that promises to be an incredibly special moment in history for our game, our league and our country.”
For football hungry fans, it feels like every game this season will be a highlight. But here is some other news from the new schedule, released on Tuesday:
- Everything leads to the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton on December 12.
- Edmonton’s football heroes will play their first game with their new name on August 7th when the Edmonton Elks host the Ottawa REDBLACKS.
- The CFL’s eastern clubs will play the first two weeks in the West, as some Western clubs are expected to be able to host fans sooner and in greater numbers as the season gets underway.
- Labour Day Weekend is back: Ottawa hosts the Montreal Alouettes on Friday, September 3; the Saskatchewan Roughriders host the Bombers on Sunday, September 5; and Monday, September 6 features a double header, with Hamilton hosting the Toronto Argonauts and the Calgary Stampeders welcoming the Elks.
- The traditional rematches the following weekend are back too, with the Ticats in Toronto on Friday, September 10, and a double header on Saturday, September 11, featuring the Riders in Winnipeg and the Stamps in Edmonton.
- Saturday’s alright for football, with Saturday night games scheduled on 14 of the 16 weeks, and two triple headers on Saturdays, September 11 and October 23.
- Every game promises to be big with each team playing a 14-game schedule, but when the playoff races come down to the wire, teams will be going head to head: six of the last eight games on the schedule are between division rivals.
- There are no pre-season games this year, a product of a season shortened by COVID-19 restrictions.
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» Listen to the CFL’s official podcast, The Waggle, to prep for the season
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CFL clubs are currently in discussions with government officials on how many fans will be allowed in their stadiums as the country works to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Your local team will release its plan for tickets as the season approaches. Every CFL game, including playoffs and the 108th Grey Cup, will be on TSN. Every Montreal Alouettes game and select non-Alouette games will be available on RDS. A schedule of games available for viewing on ESPN stations in the US, as well as international viewing will be released soon.
“I want to thank everyone who has made this schedule and this season possible, from players to governors to partners to fans, and all of the health care workers, front line workers and scientists who have done so much to allow us to endure this pandemic and start to emerge from it,” Ambrosie said.
“The 2021 CFL season will be one we’ll truly never forget. It will be a celebration of our game, our gratitude, and our pride. it will culminate in a Grey Cup that will shine a very positive light on our host, the city of Hamilton, our league and our future. We believe this season and this Grey Cup will signal more than the return of the CFL. It can show the world that Canada is back.