CFL 2021 Schedule Released
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CFL 2021 Schedule Released

After losing the entire 2020 CFL season, the CFL is gearing up for a full return in 2021, releasing its entire schedule – from the start of the offseason to the Grey Cup.

The Canadian Football League has released most of its schedule for the 2021 CFL offseason, regular season, and playoffs. The CFL schedule 2021 is similar to previous years – since the league expanded to nine franchises in 2014. The schedule assumes fans will return to games and does not include any additional weeks for rescheduling games, but each team does have three bye weeks.

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  • Finalized dates and Details for the 2021 CFL Schedule

    The majority of important dates for the CFL schedule 2021 are finalized. Below is a list of the most important dates for the 2021 CFL season, listed in chronological order.

    • Teams can re-sign players starting December 7, 2020
    • Teams can negotiate with free agents starting on January 31
    • Free agency officially begins February 9 at 12:00 PM EST
    • Preseason beings on May 23
    • Preseason ends June 4
    • Regular season begins on June 10
    • Regular season ends on October 30
    • CFL playoffs start on November 7
    • CFL East and West Finals on November 14
    • Grey Cup takes place on Sunday, November 21 at 6:00 PM EST

    The 2021 CFL regular season lasts 21 weeks from June 10 until October 30, 2021. During the season, the majority of weeks feature four games – although there are a few with three and five games. The preseason has nine games total – two for each team, including a tentatively scheduled 11:00 AM game on a Thursday between Hamilton and Toronto.

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    "CFL Grey Cup Calgary" by Gord McKenna is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

     

    The playoffs and Grey Cup take place on the three weekends after the regular season concludes. The first two rounds have two games each – starting at 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM EST on Sunday. The year wraps up with the 2021 Grey Cup. The 108th Grey Cup takes place at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario. This marks the 11th time Hamilton has hosted the Grey Cup and the first time since 1996.

    Dates not yet Determined

    A few parts of the CFL are not yet finalized (as of December 2020). The first is the 2021 CFL Draft. The league plans on hosting the event in Spring 2021, which is typically when the league holds the draft.

    In fact, the league usually has their draft on the Thursday following the NFL Draft. The NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 29, 2021, meaning the CFL Draft is likely happening on May 6. There is no set date for the start of training camp. It usually begins the week following the CFL Draft.

    Notable Games on the 2021 CFL Schedule

    Here is a list of the most notable games of the 2021 CFL regular season.

    • Week 1 – Hamilton Tiger-Cats v. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (season opener and a rematch of 2019 Grey Cup)
    • Week 4 – Calgary Stampeders v. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Canada Day)
    • Week 5 – Calgary Stampeders v. Toronto Argonauts (neutral location)
    • Week 13 – Toronto Argonauts v. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Labour Day)
    • Week 13 – Edmonton Eskimos v. Calgary Stampeders (Labour Day)
    • Week 18 – Ottawa Redblacks v. Montreal Alouettes (Thanksgiving)
    • Week 21 – Edmonton Eskimos vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (final regular-season game)

    More Details on the 2021 CFL Season and Schedule

    The CFL faces an uphill battle in 2021 after losing an entire year of revenue from the cancellation of the 2020 season. However, they plan on going forward with an entire 18-game season in 2021.

    The 2021 CFL Schedule also sees teams play a few more divisional games. For example, the Toronto Argonauts play Hamilton four times and only Edmonton and Winnipeg once. In a normal season, every team plays twice, and the remaining games (two per team) are played against divisional opponents. The change in schedule is to decrease travel and is not a permanent move.

    One interesting aspect of the 2021 CFL schedule involves Sunday. From Week 14 (the first week with NFL regular-season games) until the end of the regular season, the CFL schedule does NOT have a single game on Sunday. The CFL made this scheduling move for the first time in 2019 and did the same in 2020.

    Another part of this season is we are not getting an expansion team in Atlantic Canada. The league and Schooners Sports and Entertainment were targeting the 2021 CFL season. However, the cancellation of last season has pushed the delayed the Atlantic Schooners until at least 2022.

    cfl match

    "CFL Match" by josémaría is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

     

    The CFL is also likely scrapping its European player draft. In 2019, the CFL hosted its augural CFL European Draft, selecting nine players from a pool of 18 who attended the CFL combine. The goal of the European draft is to expand the league’s popularity outside of Canada. However, financial constraints and travel restrictions could lead the league to cancel it in 2021.

    The CFL is also planning on fans being able to return – in some capacity – and will need fans to avoid falling into deeper financial hardships. What each team allows is based on the province, but one would hope by June, at least some fans can return to the stands.

    Betting on the CFL

    The CFL is a great sport to bet on. The games are high-scoring, and the teams play each other more frequently – everyone typically plays two or three times per season – making for some exciting and close games. If you are looking to bet on CFL games and CFL futures, check out the online sportsbooks below. Sign up through the link to snag a fantastic welcome bonus exclusive to this site.