Craig Reynolds, Saskatchewan Roughriders’ CEO and president, said he can’t wait to see his club back on the field this summer.
On Monday, the Canadian Football League announced that the 2021 season would start on Aug. 5. A 14-game schedule will be released Tuesday.
“We are so thrilled that you are finally going to get to see the Green and White at Mosaic Stadium,” Reynolds said in a statement posted on the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ website Monday.
“It is going to be unlike any other season the team has ever played in, but after falling just short of a Grey Cup berth in 2019, we feel like we have some unfinished business to attend to.”
In 2019, the Roughriders had a 13-5 record for first place in the West Division for the first time in more than a decade.
Reynolds said players will arriving in Saskatchewan in a few weeks and will begin training camp following a quarantine and COVID-19 testing period.
Two weeks ago, the Saskatchewan government announced that if 70 per cent of the province, aged 12 and older, received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the team would have the green light to host fans at full capacity.
“Nothing would mean more to us, to our players, coaches and staff, to be able to put on a game day that includes 33,000 of you on your feet as the team takes the field. I get chills just imagining it,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said there a still a lot of questions unanswered at this point, and the team is still figuring things out including when fans can buy tickets.
“There’s no doubt this year will be different. There will be challenges, including the financial one that the pandemic has left us with, but there is also hope. Hope that the fog of this pandemic will continue to lift,” Reynolds said.
“Hope that as the weeks and months go on, our country will begin to feel more like normal. That we’ll be able to visit with our family and friends across the country and beyond, maybe right here at Mosaic Stadium. Hope that when our Roughriders take the field, it will mark the start of our best season yet.”
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie shared his gratitude to those on the front lines who have battled hard to get to this point.
“Words cannot express how grateful we all are to the health care and front-line workers who have done so much to keep Canada going,” Ambrosie said in a statement Monday.
“We at the CFL want to thank everyone who has chosen to get vaccinated, we encourage everyone to get a first shot, or a second, when it is their turn.
The Grey Cup game has been pushed back from Nov. 21 to Dec. 12 and will take place in Hamilton.
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