“As soon as the Grey Cup trophy is presented, we switch from football season to business season and the release of the schedule is a highlight,” said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League.
“There is a lot to look forward to in the 2019 schedule, from prime time Saturday nights to Labour Day classics to a special game in Atlantic Canada.”
The regular season will kick off on Thursday June 13 when the Saskatchewan Roughriders, led by the current Coach of the Year Chris Jones, travel to Hamilton to meet the Tiger-Cats in the debut of their new head coach, Orlondo Steinauer.
The Calgary Stampeders launch the defense of their championship on Saturday June 15 when they host the Ottawa REDBLACKS. A rematch of the 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw, the game is the first of 20 “Saturday Prime” games on TSN (all at 7 p.m. ET). It is followed that night by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visiting the BC Lions and their new head coach, DeVone Claybrooks.
Friday Night Football makes 24 appearances next year and Thursday Night Football is back on the schedule for the first ten weeks of the season.
Canada Day on July 1 features a Monday night clash between the Toronto Argonauts and the Riders in Regina. On August 10, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will host the BC Lions in a Saturday prime game to celebrate the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
The CFL returns to Atlantic Canada on Sunday, August 25. The Argos will host the Montreal Alouettes in the first CFL game out east since 2013 and the first presented by the Atlantic Schooners, who are working to become the CFL’s tenth team.
“As the oldest professional sports team in North America and one of the most storied franchises in Canadian football, the Argos feel a special responsibility to grow our great game,” said Bill Manning, President of the Toronto Argonauts.
“That’s why we agreed to move one home game out east, to contribute to the momentum behind the Schooners’ bid to make a CFL dream come true by making ours a coast to coast league.”
Schooners Sports and Entertainment, a group of investors currently working on a stadium project in Halifax, will announce details on the Sunday August 25 game, including its location, in the new year.
Labour Day Weekend features all the classics: the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in Saskatchewan on Sunday September 1, and a holiday double header on Monday September 2 showcases the Ticats hosting the Argonauts and the Eskimos visiting Calgary to face the Stampeders.
The trend to provide teams with rest between games in the name of player safety continues: the number of short weeks (fewer than seven days between games) drops to 40 in 2019, down from 51 just three years ago.
Playoff races are expected to be fuelled to the finish line with the final dozen games of the season all taking place between divisional rivals, and the final two weekends of the regular season featuring Saturday triple headers.
Playoffs fall on Sunday, November 10 and Sunday November 17, with the 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta on Sunday, November 24 at 6 p.m. ET (4 p.m. local time).