The Winnipeg Blue Bombers players and fans will be donning their jerseys this summer.
On Wednesday the CFL announced the league will be returning to gameplay on August 5. To accommodate a regular but shorted 14-game season, the Grey Cup will be hosted in Hamilton on December 12.
“We are prepared to be creative as well as prudent. For example, if we are unable to host fans in the East because of COVID-19, we are prepared to start play in the West, provided eastern teams can return to their home provinces, and play in front of their fans, later in the season," Commissioner Randy Ambrosie says in a statement.
Ambrosie says this will depend on public health approvals and permission from local governments.
BREAKING: The CFL regular season has a revised target start date of August 5th and the #GreyCup has been re-scheduled to December 12th in Hamilton, Ontario— CFL (@CFL) April 21, 2021
“To our players, fans and partners: thank you for your patience as well as your passion for our game. Thank you all the frontline workers out there for all they’re doing for all of us. We look forward to keeping you posted on our progress and to kicking off another great season of CFL football on August 5.”
He says the CFL has suffered significant financial difficulties and playing without people in the stands would further hurt them. Ambrosie says ticket revenue is key to keeping the CFL going.
“Everyone who loves the CFL can help us and their communities. Please, when it is your turn, get vaccinated. And please follow your local public health guidelines on measures including wearing a mask and social distancing."
They are hoping to have a significant number of fans in the stands when the season starts.
"Athletes are some of the healthiest people in Manitoba," Dr. Joss Reimer says in a vaccine press conference Wednesday. She says at this time, athletes are not being considered a priority group but "nothing is off the table."