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Bombers to kick off CFL season with Grey Cup rematch against Tiger-Cats

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will kick off the 2021 CFL season with a Grey Cup rematch against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday, Aug. 5 at IG Field.

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The Bombers, who beat the Ticats 33-12 in the Grey Cup, will play the first CFL game since that championship matchup, which was played on Nov. 24, 2019 in Calgary.

The 2020 season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to defending our Grey Cup Championship at our home opener on Aug. 5against the Ticats at IG Field,” Bombers CEO Wade Miller said.  “It is time to get our players back on the field, coaches on the sidelines and fans in the stands. This is a very exciting time for the organization, and for all Blue Bombers fans across our province.”

The Bombers will play seven home games and seven road games in a shortened CFL season.

They’re back at home on Friday, Aug. 13 against the Toronto Argos, travel to Toronto for a game on Saturday, Aug. 21 and host the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday, Aug. 29.

Winnipeg’s game at Toronto will be the first home game for any team in the East Division.

After that comes the annual Labour Day Classic against the Saskatchewan Roughriderds in Regina on Sunday, Sept. 5, followed by the Banjo Bowl rematch on Saturday, Sept. 11 at IG Field.

The Bombers then go to Edmonton on Saturday, Sept. 18, and travel to Vancouver to play the B.C. Lions on Friday, Oct. 1.

Winnipeg will play a home and home with the Elks on Oct. 8 (at IG Field) and Oct. 15 (Commonwealth Stadium), then host B.C. (Oct. 23) and Montreal (Nov. 6), before travelling to Montreal (Nov. 13) and Calgary (Nov. 20) to finish off the season.

The Bombers have byes in Week 8 and Week 13.

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Strangely, while they have three games against the Eskimos and two each against B.C., Montreal, Saskatchewan, Calgary and Toronto, the Bombers will not face the Ottawa Redblacks at all in 2021. That means they will not play against former offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice and former starting quarterback Matt Nichols, who are both now with the Redblacks.

The Bombers are slated to open training camp on July 10 at the Bison East Field at the University of Manitoba. They won’t be able to use IG Field in July because the Canadian Premier League will be hosting a soccer bubble in the building.

Winnipeg is expecting many players back from its Grey Cup team including star running back Andrew Harris, linebacker Adam Bighill, defensive end Willie Jefferson and quarterback Zach Collaros, along with the entire starting offensive line.

The Bombers also have a similar coaching staff under Mike O’Shea, with one significant exception being Buck Pierce, who took over as offensive co-ordinator when LaPolice became the head coach of the Ottawa Redblacks.

The East and West semifinals will be played on Nov. 28, the East and West finals on Dec. 5 and the 108th Grey Cup game will played in Hamilton on Dec. 12.

BOMBERS SCHEDULE

Thursday, Aug. 5 — Hamilton at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 13 — Toronto at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 21 — Winnipeg at Toronto, 3 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 29 — Calgary at Winnipeg, 6 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 5 — Winnipeg at Saskatchewan, 5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 11 — Saskatchewan at Winnipeg, 3 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 18 — Winnipeg at Edmonton, 8:45 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 1 — Winnipeg at B.C., 9 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 8 — Edmonton at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 15 — Winnipeg at Edmonton, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 23 — B.C. at Winnipeg, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 6 — Montreal at Winnipeg, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 13 — Winnipeg at Montreal, 3 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 20 — Winnipeg at Calgary, 6 p.m.

(more to come)

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