It was delayed slightly because of a myriad of logistical challenges, but the 2013 Canadian Football League schedule is out.
The unveiling was delayed from the usual mid-February release because of increased scheduling challenges this year, things like availability at the Ticats' temporary home and at Toronto's Rogers Centre, where the Argonauts must share the venue with a Blue Jays squad that has high hopes for the playoffs this season. Highlights of the new schedule include a return to Atlantic Canada, new digs for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, eight Hamilton home games at the University of Guelph and a departure from the Labour Day Battle of Ontario game.
The CFL season will open on June 27 with the Blue Bombers hosting the Montreal Alouettes in their new stadium, Investors Group Field. The defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts open at home on June 28 versus Hamilton, while B.C and Calgary meet that night as well. Saskatchewan and Edmonton open on June 29, and there are no July 1 games this season.
Touchdown Atlantic returns to the schedule for the 2013 season. The CFL held games in Moncton, N.B in 2010 and 2011, but the game was left off the 2012 docket. The Ticats will make their second trip to Moncton, N.B. to play in the third installment, this time taking on the Montreal Alouettes on Sept. 21.
The Ticats will host eight games at the University of Guelph's Alumni Stadium, their home away from home while their new stadium is being built in Hamilton for the 2014 season. They will not host the Argos on Labour Day this season, as per tradition. Hamilton will instead take on the Lions in Vancouver on Friday, Aug. 30, while Toronto will host Montreal on the Tuesday night after Labour Day. Other Labour Day rivalry games will be played -- Calgary will take on Edmonton, and Winnipeg will face Saskatchewan.
The two Ontario rivals will get a prime meeting on Thanksgiving Monday in Guelph.
Another interesting date for the defending Grey Cup champs will be their one home preseason game. For the first time in 55 years, a CFL football game will be played at Varsity Stadium in downtown Toronto as the Argos will take on the Als.
The Edmonton Eskimos will host the Canadian Football Hall of Fame game on Oct.5, against the Alouettes.
The final four weeks of the regular season will feature only divisional match-ups this year, enhancing the run to the playoffs. The 101st Grey Cup will be contested in Regina, on Sunday, November 24.