Breaking down the Redblacks' 2020 schedule
For the third straight year, the CFL released its upcoming season schedule in mid-December.
That gives plenty of time for fans in R-Nation to plan ahead; be it time off for tailgating or road trips to Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and for the die-hards, out West.
Here are a couple of takeaways from the Ottawa Redblacks’ 2020 schedule.
Friday, May 29th, Montreal @ Ottawa, 7:30pm
Thursday, June 4th, Ottawa @ Hamilton, 7:30pm
Friday, June 12th, Toronto @ Ottawa, 7pm
Saturday, June 20th, Ottawa @ Edmonton, 10pm
Thursday, July 2nd, Ottawa @ Montreal, 7pm
Saturday, July 11th, Ottawa @ BC, 10pm
Saturday, July 18th, Hamilton @ Ottawa, 7pm
Friday, July 24th, Edmonton @ Ottawa, 7pm
Thursday, July 30th, Ottawa @ Saskatchewan, 9pm
Thursday, August 6th, Winnipeg @ Ottawa, 7:30pm
Saturday, August 15th, Ottawa @ Hamilton, 7pm
Friday, August 21st, Ottawa @ Montreal, 7pm
Thursday, August 27th, Ottawa @ Winnipeg, 8:30pm
Thursday, September 3rd, BC @ Ottawa, 7:30pm
Friday, September 11th, Montreal @ Ottawa, 7:30pm
Saturday, September 19th, Ottawa @ Toronto, 4pm
Saturday, September 26th, Toronto @ Ottawa, 7pm
Saturday, October 10th, Saskatchewan @ Ottawa, 4pm
Friday, October 16th, Ottawa @ Calgary, 9pm
Friday, October 23rd, Calgary @ Ottawa, 7pm
A year after starting the regular season on the road, in 2020 the Redblacks open the regular season at home with a tilt against the Argos. The matchup will feature two teams with massive roster changes, from the head coaches down.
Following their home opener, the Redblacks hit the road for three straight weeks, visiting two Western teams with a road trip to Montreal sandwiched in the middle. It will be the first of a pair of three-game road trips in Ottawa’s schedule, with the other coming in August (at Hamilton, Montreal and Winnipeg).
The Redblacks’ home schedule features two games on Thursday, four on Friday and three on Saturday. Of the nine home contests, eight are night games with the lone afternoon tilt taking place against Saskatchewan on October 10th.
There are two long gaps between home games. The first (and longest) is 36 days; the Redblacks play the Argos for their home opener and return to TD Place on July 18th against the Ticats. The other significant gap between home games is 28 days and comes between games against the Bombers on August 6th and Rick Campbell’s return to the nation’s capital on September 3rd.
In a bit of a scheduling quirk, the Redblacks never play more than two games in a row at home. They also play a total of five Thursday night games, the most in franchise history.
Unlike previous seasons, the CFL has decided that instead of pushing divisional games to add spice to playoff races, less meaningful inter-divisional games are the way to go. As such, Ottawa closes out its season with three games against Western foes, including a home-and-home against the Stampeders.
In terms of bye weeks, head coach Paul LaPolice will have to manage his roster carefully. After an early Week 3 bye, the Redblacks aren’t off again until Week 17 and will also sit idle Week 21. Those late bye weeks could be a boon to a team looking to get healthy for the playoffs or an absolute momentum killer to a hot squad.
For those in R-Nation looking to invade opposing stadiums, almost every away game in Montreal, Hamilton and Toronto falls on either a Friday or Saturday. That’s an ideal set up for the best travelling fans in the East.
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